IAEA: Sanitization of Iran's Parchin site 'ongoing'

UN nuclear chief warns clean-up activities at suspected Iranian nuclear site continue, expresses optimism over talks.

November 11, 2012 16:36
1 minute read.
IAEA meeting Director General Yukiya Amano

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

The sanitization of Iran's Parchin military facility is "ongoing," AFP cited International Atomic Energy Agency head Yukiya Amano as saying Sunday.

"Yes, the activities at Parchin are ongoing, but I am not in a position to discuss the details today," the chief of the UN atomic agency said in Baghdad after being asked whether Iran was undertaking to destroy evidence at the suspected nuclear site.

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The IAEA says it has "credible" evidence that Tehran conducted tests in a steel chamber at Parchin "relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device" and has repeatedly asked Iran to grant it access to the facility.

In September, senior US diplomat Robert Wood told the IAEA's governing board that "Iran has been taking measures that appear consistent with an effort to remove evidence of its past activities at Parchin." In this respect, he accused Iran of "systematically demolishing" a facility at Parchin that United Nations nuclear inspectors want to visit as part of their investigation into suspected weapons research.

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Nevertheless, Amano expressed optimism regarding the upcoming nuclear talks between Iran and the IAEA scheduled for December 13, saying there was "good reason" that Iran would begin to cooperate with the IAEA.

"It is in the interests of Iran, and for the international community, and that is why I believe that there is some good reason that Iran will get cooperative for us," Amano said.

"At the same time," he cautioned, "the situation is very difficult and worrying. I do not want to speculate."

The IAEA is expected to release its latest report on Iran's nuclear program on Friday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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