Intel report: Iran seeking to smuggle raw uranium
AP - SFGate / GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer

(12-29) 17:10 PST VIENNA, Austria (AP) --

Iran is close to clinching a deal to clandestinely import 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan, according to an intelligence report obtained by The Associated Press. Diplomats said the assessment was heightening international concern about Tehran's nuclear activities.

Such a deal would be significant because, according to an independent research group, Tehran appears to be running out of the material, which it needs to feed its uranium enrichment program.

The report was drawn up by a member nation of the International Atomic Energy Agency and provided Tuesday to the AP on condition that the country not be identified because of the confidential nature of the information.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said, "the transfer of any uranium yellowcake ... to Iran would constitute a clear violation of UNSC sanctions."

"We have been engaged with many of our international nonproliferation partners on Iran's illicit efforts to acquire new supplies of uranium over the past several years," he said.

A senior U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was talking about confidential information said Washington was aware of the intelligence report, but he declined to discuss specifics.

"We are not going to discuss our private consultations with other governments on such m... >>>

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