Photo: ISIS
The Parchin military facility
Photo: ISIS

US says Iran 'demolishing' facility at Parchin site

Top diplomat Robert Wood says Tehran 'blatantly hampering' IAEA's ability to examine suspected nuke site; EU blasts Iran over stalled talks

A US envoy accused Iran on Thursday of "systematically demolishing" a facility at the Parchin military site that United Nations nuclear inspectors want to visit as part of their investigation into suspected weapons research.


"Iran has been taking measures that appear consistent with an effort to remove evidence of its past activities at Parchin," senior US diplomat Robert Wood told the 35-nation governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


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He said it was "troubling that Iran is blatantly hampering the (IAEA's) ability to carry out its mandate by systematically demolishing the facility that has been identified by the IAEA as meriting inspection at the Parchin site."


The IAEA suspects Iran has conducted explosives tests in a steel chamber at Parchin, possibly a decade ago, and has repeatedly asked Iran to grant it access to the facility.


Iran says Parchin is a conventional military site and has dismissed allegations about it as "ridiculous."


Citing satellite imagery, Western diplomats have for several months said they suspect Iran is cleaning the site of any evidence of illicit nuclear activity, by tearing down buildings and removing soil.


Wood called on Iran to grant the UN immediate access to Parchin. "If Iran has nothing to hide there, why did it begin altering the site as soon as the IAEA asked to visit?" he asked, according to a copy of his statement to the closed-door board session.


Meanwhile, the European Union harshly criticized Iran for what it said is Tehran's refusal to engage the international community on concerns about its nuclear agenda.


An EU statement to the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board said Iran has "not engaged seriously and without preconditions in talks aimed at restoring international confidence" that Tehran is not seeking to develop nuclear arms.


Iran denies any interest in such weapons.


The resolution said the European Union "shares the continuing serious concerns" of the IAEA about activities that include the suspected "development of a nuclear payload for a missile."


The statement, delivered Wednesday, also said the 27-nation bloc shares a commitment with world powers to seek a diplomatic solution to concerns about "the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."


Reuters, AP contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 09.13.12, 19:52
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