IAEA rebukes Iran for nuclear programme

The UN’s nuclear watchdog has rebuked Iran for ignoring its request to let inspectors visit Iranian sites suspected of nuclear weapons activity. The International Atomic Energy Agency passed a resolution […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The UN’s nuclear watchdog has rebuked Iran for ignoring its request to let inspectors visit Iranian sites suspected of nuclear weapons activity.

The International Atomic Energy Agency passed a resolution yesterday expressing “serious concern” over Iran’s enrichment of uranium and refusal to let inspectors into some sites.

Russia and China were persuaded to join with the other members of the so-called P5+1 group – the United States, Britain, France and Germany – to put forward the resolution.

Most of the 35 nations on the IAEA board backed the resolution put forward by the six world powers, with only Cuba voting against the motion, while three countries – Egypt, Ecuador and Tunisia – abstained from the vote.

One US official told the Board there was a possibility Iran was trying to mask its nuclear activities in one of the sites which provoked the IAEA’s motion.

Ambassador Robert Wood, Acting US Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna said: “Iran has been taking measures that appear consistent with an effort to remove evidence of its past activities at Parchin.”

However Iran denies being stubborn, with Ali Asghar Soltanieh, its envoy to the IAEA telling reporters after the vote such a resolution will only “complicate the situation and jeopardise the co-operative environment”.