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Iran Rejects Inspector Concerns While Tripling Uranium

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Iran’s alleged nuclear-weapons work tops the agenda of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s quarterly meeting of its 35-member board of governors today in Vienna.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano will tell IAEA diplomats about a two-day visit by inspectors to Tehran last month during which they were barred from visiting the Parchin military complex. Board members may criticize Iran’s lack of cooperation.

Today’s IAEA gathering comes before talks between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. The two leaders are meeting in Washington, where they will emphasize agreement over how to confront Iran’s nuclear program as Obama asked Israel to help tone down “loose talk of war.”

Iran, which is entering the ninth year of the IAEA probe, has insisted that its nuclear program is peaceful. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Feb. 23 that possession of nuclear weapons is a “big crime.” The U.S. and its allies suspect Iran may be trying to build an atomic bomb.

IAEA inspectors reported last month that Iran tripled production of enriched uranium. Iran is now making almost 31 pounds (14 kilograms) of 20 percent-enriched uranium a month compared with almost nine pounds in November, according to the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Tirone in Vienna at jtirone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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