News ID: 274235
Published: 0239 GMT September 15, 2020

Iran calls for IAEA verification activities in Saudi Arabia

Iran calls for IAEA verification activities in Saudi Arabia

An Iranian deputy foreign minister complained about Saudi Arabia’s non-transparent nuclear practices, calling on the UN nuclear watchdog to carry out verification activities in the kingdom.

Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand held a meeting with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi on the sidelines of an IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna on Monday.

Baharvand told Grossi while all IAEA member states are entitled to enjoy nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, the situation in Saudi Arabia, its non-transparent activities, and its refusal to allow inspectors entry are a source of concern.

The IAEA must be able to practice verification activities in Saudi Arabia, he added.

Baharvand also highlighted Iran’s close cooperation with the UN nuclear agency, stressing that the IAEA should not be influenced by political pressures from certain countries that are aimed at disrupting the interaction between the IAEA and Tehran.

Cooperation in a constructive atmosphere without the influence of third parties would benefit both sides, he said.

Grossi described Iran as a major partner of the UN nuclear agency and hailed the country’s positive cooperation and the level of verification activities inside Iran.

The IAEA chief visited Tehran in late August to meet with Iranian officials to end a months-long impasse over the inspection of two locations thought to be from the early 2000s.

During the visit, Iran agreed to allow the IAEA to inspect the two sites where the agency claimed Iran had stored or used undeclared nuclear material.

“I welcome the agreement between the agency and Iran, which I hope will reinforce cooperation and enhance mutual trust,” Grossi told the agency’s Board of Governors in Vienna.

He said that inspectors had already visited one site and would visit another later this month.

Tasnim and AP contributed to this story.





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