UN Agency Expected to Act Impartially

UN Agency  Expected  to Act  Impartially
UN Agency  Expected  to Act  Impartially

The ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) criticized the UN nuclear agency for announcing its decision to turn down Iran's offer of access to a region in western Iran where the IAEA has claimed that explosives experiments may have taken place by an "unofficial" email to a western news agency, saying the IAEA is expected to act "impartially" and "professionally".

The UN nuclear watchdog has declined Iran's offer of access to an alleged site in the western Marivan region in an email to Reuters, Reza Najafi said in an interview with IRNA on Thursday, adding, "The agency cannot evade responsibility by sending an email to a news agency."

He also said the fact that the IAEA has declined the offer indicates that the allegation that Iran may have conducted explosives tests in Marivan is "baseless," otherwise the agency would have taken up on the offer to visit the region.

In addition, Najafi said, "Now the only option for the agency is to act impartially and professionally and announce that the information provided by one member state or member states regarding high explosives tests in the Marivan region has been incorrect, so the agency is not able to take measures to conduct verification activities with regard to an alleged site in the Marivan region."    

Reuters reported on Thursday that the UN nuclear watchdog has dismissed an Iranian offer of access to the western Marivan region, saying this did not address its concerns.

The IAEA has raised with Iran the UN agency's "specific concerns related to the issue of large-scale high explosive experiments over the past three years," IAEA Communications Director Serge Gas said in an email.

However, the IAEA has "explained clearly to Iran – on more than one occasion – that an offer of a visit of Marivan does not help address specific concerns related to the issue of large- scale high explosive experiments," he said, without elaborating.

Western officials say Iran should step up cooperation with the IAEA's inquiry into allegations that it has worked on designing nuclear weapons to help foster a wider diplomatic deal which Tehran and the six major powers (The United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) are aiming to reach by mid-2015.

Iran denies its nuclear work has any military objectives, saying the program is solely for peaceful purposes. However, it has increased cooperation with the IAEA and engaged seriously in nuclear talks with the major powers to ease concerns over its nuclear activities since President Hassan Rouhani took office last year.  

At last month's IAEA board meeting, Najafi said the allegations of illicit nuclear related activity were based on "wrong and fabricated" information provided by a few member states.

To prove them wrong, he said Iran would be ready to give the IAEA "one managed access" to Marivan, a region mentioned in an IAEA report in 2011 on alleged activities that could be relevant for developing nuclear weapons.

The 2011 report cited information from one unidentified member state claiming that high explosives tests were conducted in Marivan a decade ago.