Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency reiterated Thursday that his country “is ready to re-engage with (the) IAEA” but continued to insist his country’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.
“A new chapter is open,” Ali Asghar Soltanieh was quoted by CNN as having told reporters at the IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna, Austria.
He added, however, that Iran “will never ever suspend our nuclear activities.”
The ambassador's statement came shortly after six world powers called on Iran Thursday to resume nuclear talks without preconditions, urging it to grant inspectors access to its Parchin military base.
On Wednesday it was reported that satellite images of the Parchin facility appear to show trucks and earth-moving vehicles at the site, indicating an attempted cleanup of radioactive traces possibly left by tests of a nuclear-weapon trigger.
Diplomats who spoke to The Associated Press said the crews at the Parchin military site may be trying to erase evidence of tests of a small experimental neutron device used to set off a nuclear explosion.
Soltanieh dismissed the suspicions regarding the development of nuclear weapons at Parchin, telling reports they were “childish” and “ridiculous.”
He added that international sanctions and cyberattacks against Iran will not prevent it from developing nuclear energy, and that sanctions were only working to hurt its citizens, CNN reported.
The continued Israeli threat of attack against Iran's nuclear installations, he noted, is against international law, and called on the United Nations to condemn and take action against Israel.
Earlier, the IAEA’s director general, Yukiya Amano, directly accused Iran of refusing to come clear about its nuclear program.
"Iran is not telling us everything. That is my impression. We are asking Iran to engage with us proactively, and Iran has a case to answer," Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said.
Amano told CNN that Iran has declared a number of nuclear facilities to the IAEA, but refuses to declare others and open them for inspection.
"For these facilities and activities, I can tell that they are in peaceful purpose," Amano said. "But there are also, there may be other facilities which are not declared, and we have the indication or information that Iran has engaged in activities relevant to the development of nuclear explosive devices."