The chief UN nuclear inspector, Yukiya Amano, warned Monday that he couldn't confirm all of Iran's nuclear activities are peaceful because Tehran is not fully co-operating with his inspectors.


Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaks after an IAEA meeting in Vienna. Amano said Tehran is not fully co-operating with his nuclear inspectors. ((Ronald Zak/Associated Press))

Amano also chided Iran for barring some inspectors and for stonewalling his agency's attempts to probe allegations that Tehran is interested in developing atomic arms.

Amano spoke at the start of a 35-country board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran insists its nuclear activities are meant only to generate energy but is under UN sanctions for refusing to stop uranium enrichment, which can be used both to make fuel and fissile nuclear warhead material.

New Iran inspection chief named

Amano also named a new head for the department in charge of investigating Iran's nuclear activities.

Amano appointed Herman Naeckarts to the vacant post of deputy director general in charge of safeguards. That position was left vacant with the departure of Olli Heinonen, who had acquired a reputation of toughness in his investigation of Tehran's nuclear program.

Diplomats described Naeckarts to reporters as pulling no punches in criticizing Iran's spotty co-operation with IAEA probes into its nuclear activities.

Tehran denies being interested in developing nuclear arms but has refused to stop uranium enrichment despite four sets of UN Security Council sanctions.