Iran sanctions in works if nuke questions remain

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All of the U.S. and administration officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the report.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the IAEA report showed the international community is running out of time to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

She urged Congress to pass two bills recently adopted by her committee that would tighten and expand sanctions on Iran’s energy sector.

Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he is planning to hold a hearing in coming weeks to look at additional steps the U.S. can take against Iran.

The IAEA report outlines the extent of its findings on Iran’s alleged secret nuclear weapons work, including clandestine procurement of equipment and design information needed to make nuclear arms; high explosives testing and detonator development to set off a nuclear charge; and computer modeling of a core of a nuclear warhead.

One senior administration official said the computer modeling is of particular concern because there is no application of such studies to anything other than a nuclear bomb.

Iran contends that its program is designed to generate electricity, not build weapons.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have risen in recent weeks following the Obama administration’s contention that Iran’s elite foreign action unit, the Quds Force, was behind a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. in Washington.

Iran has vehemently denied anything to do with the alleged plot.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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