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Reuters: UN agency says nuke docs faked in US UK accusations

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency said on Friday that the documents backing U.S. and British allegations that Iraq had attempted to import uranium from Niger were "not authentic."
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=564&ncid=564&e=2&u=/nm/20030307/ts_nm/iraq_un_elbaradei_dc_3 UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The head of the U.N. nuclear agency said on Friday that the documents backing U.S. and British allegations that Iraq (news - web sites) had attempted to import uranium from Niger were "not authentic."

"Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded ... that these documents, which formed the basis for the reports of recent uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger, are in fact not authentic," International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in a report to the U.N. Security Council.

"We have therefore concluded that these specific allegations are unfounded," he said.

Britain and the United States alleged Iraq had attempted to revive a nuclear weapons program that was neutralized by the United Nations (news - web sites) before U.N. inspectors left Baghdad in December 1998 on the eve of a U.S.-British bombing raid.

The claim Iraq had attempted to import the uranium was vital to the U.S. accusation, since it would not have needed the uranium for anything other than an atomic weapons program.

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