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The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Thursday it feared Iran may be working now to develop a nuclear-armed missile, as Washington warned Tehran of “consequences” for ignoring international demands to stop its atomic program.

In unusually blunt language, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report for the first time suggested Iran was actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability, throwing independent weight behind similar Western suspicions.

The IAEA seemed to be cautiously going public with concerns arising from a classified agency analysis leaked in part last year which concluded that Iran has already honed explosives expertise relevant to a workable nuclear weapon.

The report also confirmed Iran had produced its first small batch of uranium enriched to a higher purity and had set aside the vast bulk of its low-enriched uranium stockpile for this purpose even though this seemed far in excess of possible civilian needs.Reuters

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