'Iranian clean-up may hamper nuclear inspectors'

By REUTERS
June 21, 2012 18:23

Amano says he is concerned that Iranian activity at Parchin military complex could limit IAEA inspectors' ability to work.

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Satellite photos show Iran 'sanitizing' Parchin

Parchin sanitization satellite photos 370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

BUDAPEST - Satellite images indicate activity at Iran's Parchin site which could affect the UN nuclear watchdog's ability to ascertain whether the Islamic Republic is developing nuclear weapons, its chief Yukiya Amano said during a visit to Budapest on Thursday.

"We are aware that activities are ongoing at the site of Parchin and we have concerns that this could hamper verification activities," Amano told reporters at a news conference after meeting Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi.

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"In the past we did not see such active activities but our information and satellite imagery indicates they are undertaking quite important activities," he said.

On Wednesday, a US security institute published satellite imagery which it said appeared to show further activity, including removing earth, to clean up an Iranian military site the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) wants to inspect.

Parchin, which Iran says is a conventional military complex, is at the center of Western allegations that Iran has conducted experiments - possibly a decade ago - that could help develop nuclear bombs. Iran denies any such ambition.

Earlier this week Iran and six world powers failed to make progress on their decade-old nuclear dispute during two days of talks in Moscow.

Iran has so far refused to grant the IAEA access to the Parchin facility as part of the UN agency's long-stalled investigation into suspected atom bomb research in the country.

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