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UN Nuclear Agency Says Iraq-Niger Nuclear Deal Is False - 2003-03-07


The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says documents supporting the allegation that Iraq tried to buy nuclear material from Niger are not authentic.

Mohamed ElBaradei told the United Nations Security Council today (Friday) the agency thoroughly analyzed the documents and concluded they were fraudulent. He said the agency has therefore concluded the accusations are false.

The agency had investigated charges by U-S and British officials that Iraq sought to acquire uranium from Niger twice during the 1980's. U-S officials had also said the West African nation signed a deal in 2000 to sell Iraq a more concentrated form of uranium.

Niger has denied selling any nuclear material to Iraq.

Mr. ElBaradei also told the Security Council that after three months of inspections, his agency to date has found no evidence of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq.

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