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IAEA slams Iran for barring inspectors from nuclear sites

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(i24) IAEA chief slams the move as unprecedented and says it will complicate the inspection of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has barred around a third of its most experienced inspectors from accessing nuclear sites there, slamming the move as unprecedented and saying it will complicate the inspection of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

“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,” said IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi

He noted that he was informed by Iran of the move earlier on 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,” Grossi charged, urging Iran to reconsider the move.

“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,” he added.

Last week, the UN nuclear watchdog said in confidential reports seen by AFP that Iran had made “no progress” on several outstanding nuclear issues, including installing more cameras to monitor their nuclear program.

Tehran in March vowed to reactivate surveillance devices that were disconnected in June 2022 amid deteriorating relations with the West.

Earlier this week, Britain, the United States, France, and Germany told the IAEA that Iran must clarify questions over its nuclear program, including concerns over the monitoring cameras and the presence of uranium particles enriched to near weapons-grade level.

Before that, Grossi expressed concern that the international community was losing interest in holding Iran to account over its advancing nuclear program.

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