NEWS FLASH, PART II: With potentially encouraging news come potentially discouraging news:
The U.N. atomic watchdog agency has found evidence of secret nuclear experiments in Egypt that could be used in weapons programs, diplomats said Tuesday.
The diplomats told The Associated Press that most of the work was carried out in the 1980s and 1990s but said the International Atomic Energy Agency also was looking at evidence suggesting some work was performed as recently as a year ago.
Egypt's government rejected claims it is or has been pursuing a weapons program, saying its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
"A few months ago we denied these kinds of claims and we do so again," Egyptian government spokesman Magdy Rady said. "Nothing about our nuclear program is secret and there is nothing that is not known to the IAEA."
But one of the diplomats said the Egyptians "tried to produce various components of uranium" without declaring it to the IAEA, as they were bound to under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The products included several pounds of uranium metal and uranium tetrafluoride — a precursor to uranium hexafluoride gas, the diplomat said on condition of anonymity.