Iran criticizes IAEA's 'counterproductive approach'

Iran accuses UN nuclear agency of "counterproductive approach" following report on its undeclared nuclear activity.

Elad Benari ,

Vienna International Centre, where IAEA offices are located
Vienna International Centre, where IAEA offices are located

Iran on Thursday accused the UN nuclear agency of having taken "a counterproductive approach" after its head said Tehran had not clarified queries over possible undeclared nuclear activity, AFP reports.

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report saying that Iran has failed to explain traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites.

"After many months, Iran has not provided the necessary explanation for the presence of the nuclear material particles at any of the three locations where the Agency has conducted complementary accesses (inspections)," the report said.

On Monday, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said Iran has failed to answer questions about the discovery of uranium particles at former undeclared sites in the country and called on Tehran to provide information “without further delay.”

Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, on Thursday told the IAEA's board of governors' meeting that the latest agency report is "not credible", calling it "deeply disappointing".

"The secretariat has taken a counterproductive approach at the expense of its own credibility," he said, as quoted by AFP, warning this "could turn into an obstacle for future good-will interactions between the two sides".

Grossi has been pushing Iran for answers on three sites dating back many years where inspections had revealed traces of uranium of man-made origin, suggesting they were once connected to Iran’s nuclear program.

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