Envoy: Tehran Will Not Allow West to Spy on Iran through IAEA
(FNA)- Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency blasted the suspicious operations done by a number of IAEA inspectors, saying that the country will not allow those UN nuclear watchdog inspectors who work for western spy agencies to endanger its security.
Iran "will not permit our national security to be jeopardized" by the IAEA inspectors working for the western intelligence agencies, Bloomberg quoted Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh as saying yesterday. "Iran will never suspend its enrichment activities."
Soltaniyeh contradicted IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano's May 22 announcement after returning from talks in Tehran that a decision had been made to allow inspectors increased access.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili had only pledged his country's "determination" to reach an accord, Soltaniyeh said at a press briefing in Vienna, according to the Bloomberg report.
IAEA officials met with their Iranian counterparts in Vienna on Friday to attempt to conclude a deal for visiting a non-nuclear military site in the vicinity of Tehran for a third time even after UN inspectors announced two times that alleged information about military nuclear tests in the site were all lies.
Soltaniyeh accused the IAEA of violating its authority by seeking information on military and missile work as well as making public preliminary details of the country's enrichment activities. Iran has been subject to more than 4,000 man-days of IAEA inspections, including about 100 surprise visits, since 2003, he said.
"The agency, which is supposed to be an international technical organization, is somehow playing the role of an intelligence agency," he said.
While "optimistic" that a deal can still be struck with IAEA inspectors, Soltaniyeh didn't support Amano's assertion that a bargain was imminent. The UN atomic agency's director reiterated at the June 4 press conference that Iran's top negotiator gave assurances that the remaining differences between the country and inspectors could be bridged "quite soon."
Amano was in Tehran more than two weeks ago and the continued talks between Iran and the IAEA signifies progress in the talks between the two sides.
Amano said after his visit to Tehran that he expected a framework cooperation deal to be signed soon with Iran. The main bone of contention in the talks between Iran and the IAEA is a non-nuclear military site near Tehran that the UN agency wants to visit for a third time.
After western intelligence agencies alleged that they had stolen a laptop computer from Iran which contains studies about military nuclear activities in Parchin military site - and although they refrained from presenting the original documents to Iran - Tehran allowed IAEA inspectors to visit the site twice and the IAEA team, led by the then deputy Director General Ollie Heinonen, eventually declared that the alleged studies in Parchin had been all baseless and unfounded.
Parchin was only one of the several problems in the relations between Iran and the IAEA which were all resolved even before Amano took the lead in the UN nuclear watchdog agency.
Before Amano came to power, his predecessor Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed that all misunderstandings and ambiguities about Iran's nuclear activities had been removed.
A 2008 report of the IAEA by the then Director-General, Mohamed ElBaradei, thanked Iran's honest cooperation in removing ambiguities about its past activities and confirmed that Iran has answered all the six outstanding questions of the world body about the nuclear material and activities that it had had in the past.
Iran came clean of IAEA's questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities at the end of an action plan which was endorsed by the IAEA and Iran in 2008, and Tehran said it considers its nuclear case closed after the then IAEA chief endorsed that all misunderstandings had been resolved.
But the new director general, Yukiya Amano, in his first report after ascending to power challenged Iran's nuclear activities, while many even in the West believed that the report carried a US tone and wording on an IAEA paper.
Amano's Tehran visit took place only two days before a high-profile meeting between Iran and the six world powers in Baghdad, and although the hawkish chief of the IAEA voiced satisfaction with his Tehran trip, the western powers did not show much flexibility in the Iraqi capital.
Tehran is now asking why it should allow the UN inspectors to visit this non-nuclear military site a third time on the basis of the same allegations which were announced baseless by the former IAEA chief.