September 9, 2015 / 3:55 PM / 2 years ago

U.N. nuclear watchdog sends Iran questions on past activities

VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday it had sent questions to Iran over "ambiguities" in its submissions as the agency assesses whether Tehran's past activities were entirely peaceful, an assessment crucial to a diplomatic pact with Iran.

Under a roadmap agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reached alongside a July 14 deal between Tehran and six world powers, the agency must assess by the end of the year whether past work carried out by Iran was aimed at producing nuclear weapons, which Iran denies.

Under the deal with the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - restrictions would be placed on Iran's nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

"The IAEA has undertaken a rigorous and thorough review of the explanations provided by Iran on 15 August under the roadmap," Fredrik Dahl, a spokesman for the agency, said. "Yesterday, the IAEA submitted questions to Iran on ambiguities identified by the agency."

The submission of the questions was in keeping with the roadmap's timeline, which provided for the agency's questions to be sent to Iran by Sept. 15.

"Technical-expert meetings, technical measures and discussions will be organized in Tehran prior to 15 October 2015 to remove the ambiguities identified by the IAEA," the agency said in a statement.

The IAEA is due to provide its assessment by Dec. 15.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Dominic Evans

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