World Jewish News
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano attending a meeting in Vienna on September 13, 2010. Photo by: Reuters
IAEA chief to Iran: Stop obstructing nuclear investigation
13.09.2010, International Organizations
The United Nations atomic watchdog chief said on Monday he regretted Iran's decision in June to bar two experienced nuclear inspectors from the country, saying repeated rejections of International Atomic Energy Agency staff were hindering their work.
"I learned with great regret about Iran's decision to object to the designation of two inspectors who recently conducted inspections in Iran," said Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the IAEA.
Iran has accused the two inspectors of giving "false information" about its nuclear program. But Amano told a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation governing board on Monday that he had full confidence in their "professionalism and impartiality."
The dispute over the inspectors has added to international concern about Iran's nuclear program, which Western powers suspect is aimed at developing atom bombs. Iran denies this allegation, insisting the program is aimed solely at generating electricity.
Apart from the two inspectors barred in June, Iran also refused access to a senior inspector in 2006 and has objected to a number of other appointments in the past.
"... Iran's repeated objection to the designation of inspectors with experience in Iran's nuclear fuel cycle and facilities hampers the inspection process," Amano said, according to a copy of his speech provided to reporters outside the closed-door meeting.
He urged Iran to reconsider a decision in January 2007 to reject 38 agency inspectors.