On June 15, 2020, Mariano GROSSI the head of European Atomic Agency said Iran must provide inspectors “prompt access” to two sites where the country is thought to have stored or used undeclared nuclear material.
He told the reporters after a meeting of the agency’s board in Austria’s Vienna he had made his case with “Iranian authorities at higher levels”.
“We need this cooperation,” he said. “I regret that at this point we have this disagreement”.
GROSSI told the board that for more than four months “Iran has denied us access to two locations and that, for almost a year, it has not engaged in substantive discussions to clarify our questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities”.
“There are areas where our cooperation is ongoing and there is this issue where quite clearly we are in disagreement,” he said.
GROSSI repeated to Iran to “cooperate immediately and fully” with the agency.
If the Board of Governors passes a resolution critical of Iran, it would be the first of its kind since 2012.
“The agency works on the basis of a very rigorous, dogged, meticulous technical, and scientific analysis of information,” he said: “Nothing is taken at face value.”
Western states have voiced concern over Iran’s denial of access to the sites concerned, with the US being particularly vocal.
The latest row over access comes as a landmark deal between Iran and world powers in 2015 continues to unravel.
Iran committed to curtailing its nuclear activities for sanctions relief and other benefits under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran has slowly abandoned its commitments after Donald TRUMP’s decision two years ago to renounce the deal and reimpose sanctions.
Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium is now almost eight times the limit fixed in the accord, according to an IAEA assessment published this month but the level of enrichment is still far below what would be needed for a nuclear weapon.
The IAEA says it continues to have access to all the facilities needed to monitor Iran’s current nuclear activity.
The latest tension will further complicate efforts by the deal’s EU signatories the E3 of France, Germany, and Britain to keep the deal from collapsing.
TRUMP called for the E3 to follow his lead and leave the deal.
The US Last month said it was ending sanctions waivers for nations that remain in the Iran nuclear accord a move likely to have the most impact on Russian companies working on Iran’s nuclear programme.
The American move brought condemnation from the E3 and was branded “unlawful” by Iran.
Iranian President Hassan ROUHANI urged last week other UN Security Council members, especially veto-wielding China and Russia, to stand against the American “conspiracy”.
This article was edited using the data from the Aljazeera.com, France24.com, and Timesofisrael.com.