IAEA begins meet over Iran’s n-programme

UN body to discuss access to 2 sites

June 15, 2020 10:51 pm | Updated 10:51 pm IST - Vienna

The UN nuclear watchdog’s governing body began meeting on Monday as a row brews over Iran’s refusal to allow access to two sites where nuclear activity may have occurred in the past. The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expressed “serious concern” in a report earlier this month that Iran has been blocking inspections at the sites.

The Board of Governors, one of the agency’s policy-making bodies, is expected to discuss the report during its meeting. If they pass a resolution critical of Iran, it would be the first of its kind since 2012.

Even though the two sites are not thought to be key to Iran’s current activities, the agency says it needs to know if past activities going back almost two decades have been properly declared and all materials accounted for.

Iran told the agency the report was a source of “deep regret and disappointment” and hinted the queries were based on “fabricated information” from “intelligence services”.

In a statement to the Board of Governors opening this week’s meeting, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi called on Iran “to cooperate immediately and fully with the Agency, including by providing prompt access to the locations specified by us”.

The latest row over access comes as a landmark deal between Iran and world powers in 2015 continues to unravel.

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