IAEA Chief: Visit to Parchin Site Will Still be Useful
UN nuclear inspections at a military complex near Tehran would be "very useful" despite extensive earth-moving work there by Iranian authorities, the head of the UN atomic agency said on Thursday according to AFP.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has accused Iranian authorities of undermining its effort to probe suspected nuclear weapons research at the Parchin facility by carrying out possible clean-up operations.
"As these activities are quite intensive, particularly recently, we have concerns that our capacity to verify would have been severely undermined," IAEA chief Yukiya Amano at a Council on Foreign Relations conference, AFP reported.
He added, "I continue to believe that having access is very useful to have a better understanding of the past and current activities at Parchin."
An IAEA team in 2005 was allowed to inspect the site, where Iranian researchers are suspected of conducting test explosions that could be applied to nuclear weapons.
But at the sprawling complex, the UN team "did not have the information to identify the right spot" to inspect, the IAEA chief said.
"This time, we have additional information. We requested access to particular sites and buildings of Parchin," he said.
Once the UN agency made the request, however, satellite imagery showed "very extended activities by Iran. This included demolition of buildings, removal of soils, moving fences, all of these things," he said.
The UN agency has bolstered its dialogue with Iran but is still not able to declare that all nuclear material there is designated for "peaceful" purposes, he said.
Iran has continued to enrich uranium and has expanded its capacity in violation of IAEA and UN Security Council resolutions, he said.
"We need to have better knowledge of their plans to understand whether there (are) undeclared activities or not," said Amano.
The IAEA's November 16 report said Iran would soon be able to triple its production of 20-percent enriched uranium to 100 pounds per month after fitting out its Fordow facility, a key site dug into a mountain where, the agency said, machinery has been installed but is not yet operational.
Amano told the UN General Assembly last month that Iran is not cooperating with its investigation.
In his annual report to the world body, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said talks have intensified over the past year. However, he added, “no concrete results have been achieved” thus far.
The UN atomic agency is supposed to hold its first talks with Iran since August next Thursday.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)