Iran says it will allow IAEA into military complex

Inspectors requests for access to Parchin facility had previously been stonewalled; IAEA suspects "activities" ongoing at site.

By REUTERS
March 6, 2012 10:39
1 minute read.
IAEA cameras in Iran uranium plant [file]

IAEA cameras in Iranian uranium enrichment facility 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Iran said it will give the UN nuclear watchdog access to its Parchin military complex, news agency ISNA reported on Tuesday.

An IAEA report last year said that Iran had built a large containment chamber at Parchin, southeast of Tehran, in which to conduct high-explosives tests that the IAEA says are "strong indicators" of possible weapons development. During visits by IAEA inspectors to Tehran in January and February, Iranian officials stonewalled requests for access to Parchin, seen as central to its investigation.

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"The fact that Parchin is a military site and accessing it has a time consuming process, therefore the visit cannot be allowed frequently ... Once again we will allow the IAEA to visit it one more time," Iran's representative office in Vienna said in a statement Tuesday, according to ISNA.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano on Monday told a news conference after a meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog in Vienna there were indications of unspecified "activities" at the Parchin facility.

His remarks confirmed comments made by IAEA diplomats to Reuters last week when one said: "we have heard about possible sanitation" of the Parchin site that he called "very concerning," suggesting Iran may be delaying access while it removed evidence of suspect activities.

"We have some indication that activities are ongoing at the Parchin site. It makes us believe that going there sooner is better than later," Amano told reporters, giving no details.

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