IAEA inspectors to visit second Iran nuclear site in a few days

Head of UN's nuclear watchdog says inspectors will visit second of two Iranian sites where undeclared nuclear activity may have taken place.

Elad Benari ,

IAEA headquarters
IAEA headquarters

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog, said on Monday that inspectors would "in a few days" visit the second of two sites in Iran where undeclared nuclear activity may have taken place in the early 2000s, AFP reports.

Recently, an agreement was reached between Iran and the IAEA to allow the agency's inspectors access to two requested locations inside Iran.

The agreement followed a recently released IAEA report in which the agency expressed "serious concern" that Iran has been blocking inspections at two sites where past nuclear activity may have occurred.

The agency has for months been pressing Tehran for information about the kind of activities being carried out at an undeclared site where the uranium particles were found.

While the IAEA has not identified the site in question, it is believed to be the Turquzabad facility which was identified by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his address before the UN General Assembly in 2018 as a "secret atomic warehouse."

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said on Monday that a visit to a second site, to which the agency had requested access, was imminent following a recent visit to the first.

"The second one will happen in a few days," he told reporters after opening the agency's 35-member board of governors' meeting, according to AFP.

He said analyzing environmental samples collected at the first site would take "not less than a couple of months, two or three months maybe".

Iran’s refusal to permit IAEA inspectors access to the two sites further strained efforts to save the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, from which US President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to the US withdrawal from it.