Iran meets a UN deadline

Iran has met a deadline to give the U.N. nuclear watchdog information it needs to assess whether Tehran sought to develop nuclear weapons in the past, the agency said on Thursday, a step towards carrying out a deal between Tehran and world powers. The apparent progress reported in the longstanding U.N. investigation coincided with increasing Western disquiet over Iran’s test of a ballistic missile this week in defiance of a U.N. ban, a move France said sent a disconcerting message. It also followed an unusual broadcast by Iranian state television of footage of an underground tunnel crammed with missiles and launchers that appeared to signal Tehran’s determination to expand its large missile inventory. The Islamic Republic’s missiles are viewed with concern by its Western-allied Gulf Arab neighbors given what they see as the risk of Tehran tipping missiles with nuclear weapons, should it ever develop any in future. Iran has long denied that its enrichment of uranium for nuclear fuel has any military ends, saying it is for civilian energy only. But its restrictions on U.N. inspections and intelligence suggesting it has researched nuclear bombs in the past raised concern and led to international sanctions.

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