IAEA: No new contact from Iran on Parchin access

Iranian envoy to the IAEA says his country wants to engage with the international community, but will never suspend nuclear program.

By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
March 8, 2012 21:16
1 minute read.
IAEA meeting Director General Yukiya Amano

IAEA meeting Director General Yukiya Amano 311 . (photo credit: Herwig Prammer / Reuters)

 
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Iran has not formally contacted the UN nuclear watchdog about any inspector access to the Parchin military site, agency head Yukiya Amano said on Thursday, a day after Iranian media suggested such a visit could be granted.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sought access to Parchin as part of its probe into suspicions that the Islamic Republic may be seeking nuclear weapons, but it was not granted during two rounds of talks in January and February.

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IAEA Director General Amano told reporters he had read this week's media reports about Iran's position, "but there has been no formal communication to us."

Earlier, Iran's IAEA ambassador, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told reporters outside the IAEA board meeting in Vienna that the suspicions aired about Parchin were "childish" and "ridiculous". He did not elaborate.

Soltanieh said that while Iran is ready to engage with the international community over its nuclear program, suspending its nuclear program is not an option.

Soltanieh said Iran was "ready to re-engage with the IAEA," according to CNN, adding that a "new chapter [has] opened."

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Soltanieh said that Iran is "not developing a nuclear weapon," reiterating the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program.

Tehran "will never suspend [its] nuclear activities," the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA declared according to CNN. While international sanctions and cyber attacks against Iran hurt its citizens, it does not hinder Iran's development of its nuclear program, he said.

Robert Wood, acting US envoy to the IAEA, said the powers had signaled to Iran that it was "on notice to comply with its obligations" and he suggested agency governors may take further action if Tehran did nothing before they reconvened in June.

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