Diplomats say Iran refused to let in UN nuclear expert 5 times

November 11, 2014 14:02

VIENNA - Iran has refused five times to let a UN atomic agency official, believed to be an American bomb expert, into the country as part of a team investigating its disputed nuclear activities, diplomats said.

Iran says it has the right to decide who has access to its territory, adding it had allowed in other International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) staff seeking to advance a long-stalled probe into suspected atomic arms research.

But its repeated failure to provide a visa to one specific IAEA expert may reinforce an impression in the West of a continuing reluctance by Tehran to fully answer allegations that it has worked on designing a nuclear-armed missile.

For the IAEA "to be able to address the outstanding issues effectively, it is important that any staff member ... with the requisite expertise is able to participate in the agency's technical activities in Iran," the agency said in a confidential report to member states.

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