Further escalation: Iran bars two nuclear inspectors

21 Jun 2010

Iran has barred two UN nuclear inspectors from entering the country, a senior official was quoted as saying on Monday. The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, said the two were declared persona non-grata for authoring an “untruthful” report by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme. Salehi did not name them nor give details over what elements of the report he believed not to be accurate.
The move came after the United Nations Security Council on June 9 voted to impose a fourth round of UN sanctions on Iran over nuclear activity the West suspects is aimed at making bombs. Tehran denies the charge, saying it wants nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes.
In a report in late May, the IAEA said Iran was preparing extra equipment to enrich uranium to higher levels and continued to stockpile nuclear material. The nine-page report showed Iran pushing ahead with higher-level enrichment and failing to answer the agency’s questions about possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme and address concerns about possible undisclosed activities. The United States, which was leading the push to impose new UN sanctions, at the time said the IAEA report underscored Iran’s refusal to comply with the international requirements needed for possible talks.
Iran has reacted angrily to the latest sanctions, with lawmakers warning of a possible reduction in ties with the Vienna-based IAEA. “Their report was utterly untruthful and … we asked that they would not ever send these two inspectors to Iran and instead assign two others,” Salehi said. “If an inspector makes a report contrary to the standing fact … we have the right to place a protest as we did in regard to the report by two inspectors.”

source: Reuters

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