Construction at  Sites Needs No IAEA Permission

Construction at Sites Needs No IAEA Permission

The envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency rejected as "ridiculous" the new allegations the agency made against Iran concerning the Parchin military site in its recent report, saying Tehran is not bound to obtain the IAEA's approval for construction activities at its sites.   

"It is ridiculous that the IAEA claims a small extension has been added to a building near the area under probe for alleged explosive tests," Reza Najafi told IRNA on Thursday.

Any construction work at the site is outside the purview of the UN nuclear watchdog and "Iran is not required to seek the agency's permission for construction at its facilities," he added.

In its Thursday's report, the first update on Iran's file since last month's nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers, the IAEA said, "Since (our) previous report (in May), at a particular location at the Parchin site, the agency has continued to observe, through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles, equipment and probable construction materials."

"In addition, a small extension to an existing building" appeared to have been built, the report said, according to Reuters.

A roadmap agreement signed between Iran and the IAEA alongside the nuclear accord requires Iran to provide the necessary information as well as enough access for UN inspectors to its facilities to help resolve outstanding questions regarding its nuclear past and present.

Among the pending issues is the agency's investigation into allegations that explosive experiments relevant to developing a nuclear bomb have been conducted at Parchin, according to evidence submitted by some member states which Iran has rejected as "fabricated."

"We cannot know or speculate what's in the (extended) building ... It's something we will technically clarify over the course of the year," the report said, adding that the extended building was not the one suspected to have housed the alleged experiments.

***Commitments Met

The 21-page report, however, acknowledges that Iran is broadly complying with its commitments, saying Tehran's current level of uranium enrichment, nuclear research and development and other activity is in line with its declarations, the AP wrote.

The success of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is officially known, which will lift sanctions in exchange for time-bound constraints on Tehran's atomic work, will hinge on IAEA verification of Iranian compliance.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano is supposed to submit a final assessment on the resolution of all past and present outstanding issues to the UN agency's board of governors by Dec. 15.

Iran has consistently denied there is any military element to its nuclear program, saying it is exclusively for peaceful purposes.



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