Iran on Tuesday rejected a US call to grant inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to a nuclear site, saying Washington is not in a position to make such a demand.
“The US claim that the agency’s access to the Karaj centrifuge workshop is necessary is rejected and invalid,” Mohammad Eslami, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said upon arrival in the Russian capital Moscow to discuss further cooperation with Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom.
Eslami added that the US “is not in a position to comment on how Iran and the IAEA should cooperate”.
The Vienna-based IAEA said on Sunday it had been denied "indispensable" access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop near Tehran contrary to a September 12 agreement with Iran, AFP reported.
In his latest report on Iran to members on Sunday, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said that agency inspectors had been allowed access to "all necessary locations" except the TESA Karaj workshop from September 20–22.
Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi on Monday rejected the claim.
“During the discussions in Tehran and Vienna, Iran indicated that... equipment related to this complex are not included for servicing,” he tweeted, referring to IAEA work on its surveillance equipment.
The IAEA statement “isn’t accurate and goes beyond the agreed terms,” he added.
At a Vienna meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on Monday, the US said it was "deeply troubled" and urged access "without further delay".
"If Iran fails to do so, we will be closely consulting with other board members in the coming days on an appropriate response," Louis Bono, the US representative to the IAEA, said.
Eslami blasted the comment, saying the US “does not have the right to treat the great nation of Iran like this.”
He also criticized the UN agency for adopting a “political approach” toward Iran.
“Unfortunately, the IAEA, under pressure from the US and the Zionist regime [of Israel], has replaced technical cooperation with a political approach,” Iran’s nuclear chief said.