Sunday, September 17, 2023

In ‘unprecedented’ move, Iran bars 1/3 of UN inspectors from accessing nuclear sites

Iran has barred around a third of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s most experienced inspectors from overseeing nuclear sites in the country, the UN watchdog group said Saturday. The IAEA’s chief slammed the move as unprecedented and said it would complicate inspection of Iran’s nuclear program.

Rafael Grossi, director-general of the IAEA, said in a statement that he was informed by Iran of the move earlier Saturday. The lack of cooperation will damage the organization’s ability to “provide credible assurances that nuclear material and activities in Iran are for peaceful purposes,” said Grossi, urging Iran to reconsider the move.

“I strongly condemn this disproportionate and unprecedented unilateral measure which affects the normal planning and conduct of agency verification activities in Iran and openly contradicts the cooperation that should exist between the agency and Iran,” Grossi stated.

“This profoundly regrettable decision by Iran is another step in the wrong direction and constitutes an unnecessary blow to an already strained relationship between the IAEA and Iran in the implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement,” he added.

Grossi said the inspectors in question “have conducted essential verification work at the enrichment facilities in Iran which are under Agency safeguards.” READ MORE