Iran Stops IAEA Inspectors: Protecting Site of Tests Linked to Nuclear Explosive?
By Jijo Jacob | February 22, 2012 8:50 PM EST
Iran denied International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors access to its Parchin military base, where high-explosive tests linked to nuclear bomb had been reportedly conducted.
The IAEA inspectors had arrived in Iran two days ago, seeking answers from Iranian nuclear scientists about international intelligence that its civilian nuclear projects are hiding a military agenda to develop atom bombs.
The five-member IAEA team, led by Herman Nackaerts, had planned to visit Parchin military base and make headway in negotiations on a document that addresses unresolved issues.
But the inspectors had to retune as Iran steadfastly denied access to Parchin base. This was not wholly unexpected, as before the inspectors arrived, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi had affirmed that the IAEA men would not get to inspect any nuclear site.
"It is disappointing that Iran did not accept our request to visit Parchin," Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General, said in a statement.
Parchin military base near Tehran is where high-explosive tests linked to the development of atom bomb were carried out. The IAEA reported in November that Iran had done tests "relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device" at Parchin.
After the inspectors returned, Iranian ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said talks between the country and the agency would continue in the future, ISNA reported.
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