Amano’s remarks are an affront to IAEA inspectors: Iran

TEHRAN, Sept. 14 (MNA) – Tehran says IAEA chief Yukiya Amano’s remarks about the quality of Iran’s cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog not only brought discredit upon him but also affronted IAEA inspectors.

Amano, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, claimed on Monday that he cannot confirm that all of Iran's nuclear activities are peaceful because Teheran is not fully cooperating with his inspectors.

Amano also said Iran is barring some of those inspectors and stonewalling the agency's attempt to probe allegations that Teheran is interested in developing atomic arms.

Ali Akbar Salehi, director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), seemed surprised the IAEA chief’s statement, saying Amano made such remarks either “knowingly or unknowingly”.

Speaking to IRNA news agency, Salehi said if Amano made such remarks knowingly, he has made a “great and dangerous mistake” because it shows that he was under political pressure and he succumbed to those pressures.

If the UN atomic watchdog chief unknowingly made those remarks, the fault lies with him and he should spend time acquainting himself with the IAEA’s regulations, said Salehi, Tehran’s former ambassador to the IAEA.

Salehi said, “About 150 inspectors work for the IAEA and when the agency’s general director focuses only on two inspectors and says these are familiar with inspecting issues, this affronts and disrespects the agency’s other inspectors because every agency’s inspector receives necessary training.”

He went on to say that every country has the right to choose from among all IAEA inspectors like many Western countries that cross off some Asian inspectors from their lists.

Amano has shown he does not act within the framework of the IAEA regulations, Salehi stated.

“We, instead of these two inspectors, accepted five other inspectors and you thanked us. So what happened that you made such remarks in the Board of Governors meeting?” he asked.

“What new nuclear activities have we conducted since Mohamed ElBaradei (the IAEA former chief) left the agency that you talked like that? Is it not that we have cooperated more with the agency?”

“Unfortunately, Mr. Amano, instead of presenting a legal and technical report, released the text of the Security Council resolutions while Mr. ElBaradei, despite of the political pressure exerted on him, did not do this.”

Amano’s tone has changed since taking over as the IAEA chief. In an interview with Reuters on July 3, 2009, Amano said he did not see any hard evidence Iran was trying to gain the ability to develop nuclear arms.

"I don't see any evidence in IAEA official documents about this," Yukiya Amano told Reuters in his first direct comment on Iran's nuclear program.


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