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Iran official: Gap in nuclear report

VIENNA -- Iran gave the UN nuclear watchdog a dossier meant to dispel fears it is trying to make atomic bombs, but a Tehran envoy acknowledged yesterday the files omitted key information about a bomb-making ingredient found in the country.

Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's chief delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency, suggested that the dossier did not specify the origin of traces of highly enriched weapons-grade uranium found in his country by agency experts.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has called that discovery the most troubling aspect of Tehran's nuclear activities, and diplomats recently said on condition of anonymity that Iran was expected to explain the origin of those traces.

ElBaradei suggested yesterday he expected the dossier to contain that information, linking it to IAEA efforts to verify Iranian assertions its nuclear programs are peaceful.

"We have asked . . . to know the origin of the equipment," he said. "I was assured that the report I got today is a comprehensive and accurate declaration."

The United States accuses Iran of running a weapons program and points to the discovery of highly enriched uranium as evidence of such activity. Iran insists the traces, found in environmental samples, were inadvertently imported on equipment meant to generate electricity and says it does not know where the equipment originated because it was purchased through third parties.

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