Iran does not rule out giving the IAEA access to military research sites on its soil, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA told RT. This comes after UN nuclear experts visited Tehran, only to say that Iran had barred inspectors from visiting a key military site.
“First of all the group were not inspectors per se,” explained Ali Asghar Soltanieh. “They were high officials of the agency from the legal, political and technical departments.”
The IAEA suspects a key military site in Parchin could have been the site of high-explosives tests related to nuclear weapons. They requested permission to visit the site during the group’s two-day visit to Tehran, but failed to get access.
But Ali Asghar Soltanieh says the real aim of the meeting was “to discuss the reality and framework for our future work”.
However, talking exclusively to RT, he stressed that “Iran is not ruling out access to any military sites, including Parchin”. But there are conditions that Iran wants the IAEA to follow.
“There should be a morality, a framework, a term of reference about what exactly they are looking for. We have to have insurance that we will not repeat the same bitter experience that every day they just come and ask for the access,” the envoy stressed.
Soltanieh rejected all allegations concerning Iran’s nuclear activity and said he was “one hundred per cent confident”, that “all this is wrong.”
“I just want to tell you that last week, perhaps this is the first time I am telling you, we, in fact, offered the agency to go to another site which the director general in his report has referred to as a large scale high-explosive test. We offered, but the team was instructed by the director general to go back to Vienna. Therefore we don’t have any hesitation that every activity we have has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.”
And even though the UN nuclear inspectors’ latest visit to Iran has left them still with a belief that the country is not sufficiently cooperating enough with regard to its atomic program, Iran’s envoy to IAEA summed up the results of the two-day visit as “extremely intensive.”
Now the IAEA envoy has emphasized that Iran is ready to continue discussions, and therefore “the agency has full control” over the country’s military sites.
“Regarding allegations, which is another issue, we have made a historic concession now by inviting the agency high officials to come to Iran,” he said.
“We have continued our work with the agency despite all the sanctions, the terror against our scientists, all resolutions,” he added.
Five IAEA inspectors, led by Herman Nackaerts, visited Iran on a two-day trip aimed at resolving the country’s outstanding nuclear issues. The team held talks with Iranian officials but was barred from visiting Parchin, where the IAEA suspects Iran has been conducting hydrodynamic experiments, according to its report published last November.
“It is disappointing that Iran did not accept our request to visit Parchin,” IAEA director Yukiya Amano said in a statement following the trip. “We engaged in a constructive spirit, but no agreement was reached.”
The IAEA’s latest trip to Iran followed an earlier visit to the country from January 29 to 31. During that tour, six IAEA inspectors also held what Iran called “constructive talks” with the country’s officials, but did not visit any nuclear facilities.