Vienna The UN nuclear watchdog has sharply criticized Iran’s recent restrictions on inspections of its facilities. The action is in open contradiction to the agreements and will be condemned in the strongest possible terms, said the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, on Saturday. Iran has excluded several inspectors assigned to it and is thus hindering oversight of Tehran’s nuclear activities. Western countries have long warned that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. The country denies this.
In principle, it is permissible for countries to veto certain inspectors assigned to inspect their nuclear facilities under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. But the IAEA said Iran went beyond standard practice by effectively excluding about a third of the core group of most experienced inspectors assigned to Iran who had unique knowledge of uranium enrichment. According to a diplomat, Iran has excluded all French and German members of the inspection team. There were no longer any members from the USA or Great Britain.
Iran’s move was seen as the country’s response to the recent request from the USA, Great Britain, France and Germany in the IAEA Board of Governors to immediately cooperate with the authority and, among other things, to explain the discovery of traces of uranium in untraceable locations.
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