Iranian nuclear facility
Iranian nuclear facilityReuters

Israel on Thursday blasted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over its decision to close two probes of highly enriched uranium particles and a site where man-made uranium was found.

“The closure of the Marivan Iranian safeguard case by the International Atomic Energy Agency is a matter of great concern,” said Foreign Minister spokesperson Lior Haiat.

“The explanations provided by Iran for the presence of nuclear material at the site are not reliable or technically possible. Iran continues to lie to the IAEA and deceive the international community,” he added in a statement.

“The yielding of the Director General of the IAEA and the International Atomic Energy Agency to Iranian political pressure is very disappointing, mainly because the information in the file implicitly points to two faces of blatant Iranian violations of the inspection agreements.”

“Closing the case could have extremely dangerous consequences, and it conveys a message to the Iranians that they are not required to pay a price for their violations and that they can continue to deceive the international community on their way to achieving a full military nuclear program,” said Haiat.

“In addition, closing the case in this manner severely damages the professional credibility of the IAEA,” he concluded.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Austria’s largest newspaper, Kronen Zeitung, that "the fight against Iran is not the property of Israel and countries in the Middle East alone."

"If Iran obtains nuclear weapons, the consequences for the world will be devastating. The Iranian threat is not limited to the threat of them obtaining nuclear weapons, Iran is the world's number one exporter of terrorism with the help of its metastases such as the Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other organizations. In addition, the long-range missile program that Iran is developing is a global threat," he added.

The comments come after the IAEA said in two confidential quarterly reports that inspectors no longer had questions on uranium particles found to be enriched to 83.7% at its underground Fordow facility.

Iran had argued those particles were a byproduct of its current enrichment as particles can reach higher enrichment levels in fluctuations.

The reports also said investigators also have closed off their investigation of traces of man-made uranium found at Marivan, near the city of Abadeh, some 525 kilometers southeast of Tehran.

The latest reports come as tensions between Iran and the West have escalated over its nuclear program.

The 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers hit a snag in 2018, when then-US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Iran, in turn, began to scale back its compliance with the deal.

President Joe Biden has sought to revive the deal, but those efforts have been stalled since September.

At that time, Iran submitted a response to a European Union proposal to revive the deal. A senior Biden administration official said the Iranian response "is not at all encouraging.” A US official later said that the efforts to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have “hit a wall” because of Iran's insistence on the closure of the UN nuclear watchdog's investigations.