Published May 25, 2012
VIENNA – Inspectors have located radioactive traces at an Iranian underground bunker, the U.N. atomic agency said Friday — a finding that could mean Iran has moved closer to reaching the uranium threshold needed to arm nuclear missiles.
In a report obtained by The Associated Press, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it was asking Tehran for a full explanation. But the report was careful to avoid any suggestion that Iran was intentionally increasing the level of its uranium enrichment, noting that Tehran said a technical glitch was responsible.
Analysts as well as diplomats who had told the AP of the existence of the traces before publication of the confidential report also said the higher-enriched material could have been a mishap involving centrifuges over-performing as technicians adjusted their output rather than a dangerous step toward building a bomb.