Salehi: Iran has the right to bar UN nuclear inspectors

Iranian nuke chief claims country asked IAEA to replace inspectors that were kicked out; comes after unusually blunt warning by UN watchdog.

salehi talks to the press 248 88 (photo credit: )
salehi talks to the press 248 88
(photo credit: )
Teheran has the right to bar some UN inspectors from monitoring its disputed nuclear program, Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said late Monday.
The comments came in response to an unusually blunt warning by the International Atomic Energy Agency which expressed alarm about Iran's decision to bar some of its inspectors. The report followed Iran's recent decision to strip two inspectors of the right to monitor its nuclear activities after they reported what they said were undeclared nuclear experiments.
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Ahmadinejad: Israeli attack would mean its own demiseThe semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted Salehi as saying Iran asked the agency to replace the two.
The Islamic Republic says the reporting by the UN atomic watchdog was inaccurate, but the IAEA stands by the findings.
Objections by Iran to some experienced inspectors “hampers the inspection process and thereby detracts from the agency’s capability to implement effective and efficient safeguards in Iran,” the document said.
The 11-page report devoted a special section to the complaint, reflecting the importance attached to it by IAEA chief Yukiya Amano. Such a section was included in only one previous report, after Iran impeded the work of dozens of inspectors in 2006 and 2007.
The quarterly report, which was being circulated to the IAEA’s 35-nation board and to the UN Security Council, also said Iran has continued to enrich uranium in contravention of UN Security Council demands.
The report noted that while the rate of enrichment had not significantly changed over the past year, it was steady, with Teheran having accumulated about 2.8 tons of low-enriched material – nearly enough for three nuclear bombs – since its program was revealed seven years ago.
The report also said that Iran continued to stonewall the agency in its efforts to follow up on US and other intelligence indicating past experiments meant to develop a nuclear weapons program. It also warned that with the passage of time, chances of establishing the accuracy of such information were diminishing.
With Iran refusing to engage on the issue for over two years, “the possible deterioration in the availability of some relevant information increases the urgency of this matter,” said the report.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report