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IAEA says no substantial progress in Iran nuclear probe
The International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] said today in its latest report on Irans nuclear program that it has not resolved questions about Western intelligence allegations that Tehran had carried out nuclear weaponization studies.
The report also called on Iran to be transparent and implement the IAEAs Additional Protocols, which provide for wider-ranging, snap inspections by IAEA officials.
In reaction, the White House today said Iran should stop enriching uranium, or risk facing further United Nations Security Council sanctions.
Iran has in the past dismissed as fabricated the IAEA intelligence which the agency says it has acquired from 10 countries.
Speaking to reporters today in Tehran, Irans Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hasan Qashqavi said Iran would not comment on the report until after reading and analyzing it.
Gates in Iraq to transfer military command
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Baghdad today, preparing to transfer command of the war in Iraq to Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, as the United gives control of more Iraqi territory to Baghdad.
He credited General David Patraeus brilliant strategy to the success of the US surge in quelling Iraqi violence and said Odierno was the right person to succeed Petraeus as US commander in Iraq.
Gates was also due to discuss the Status of Forces Agreement, which would govern the status of US forces in Iraq past 2008, with leaders in Baghdad.
Neighboring Iran, which fears the US will use Iraqi territory to launch an attack against it, said today some important points had yet to be clarified in the agreement.
Iran Air Force, Guards Corp begin air exercises
Irans Air Force and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC] began a joint aerial military exercise today amid growing concerns of an Israeli or US strike on that countrys nuclear facilities.
Brigadier-General Ahmad Miqani told reporters today that the exercises, named Defenders of the Guardians Sky, are taking place in over half of Irans 30 provinces.
Miqani said: The aims of this [exercise] are to practice tactics, the use of modern equipments and to increase the preparedness of our countrys armed forces.
The West suspects that Irans nuclear program has a military aim, a charge Iran strongly denies. The U.S. and Israel have not ruled out a military option if diplomatic measures fail to halt Irans nuclear program.