IAEA inspector tried to commit act of sabotage in Iran's nuclear sites: ambassador

November 8, 2019

TEHRAN – Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the Vienna-based international organizations, said on Thursday the Islamic Republic will not compromise on safety and security at its nuclear facilities.

Gharibabadi made the remarks after a session of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 

The session of the Board of Governors was held to address two issues, one of which was related to one of the agency’s inspectors, he said, Tasnim reported.

Reuters first reported on Wednesday that Iran had held an IAEA inspector and seized her travel documents in what appears to be the first incident of its kind since Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers was struck in 2015.

The inspector left Iran on Oct. 30, the memo obtained by Reuters said.

Iran confirmed on Wednesday that it prevented the inspector from gaining access to its main uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz. The IAEA said on Thursday that one of its inspectors was “temporarily prevented from leaving Iran” last week.

“We did not breach their rights,” Gharibabadi said. “We are aware of our international rights and commitments in this regard but when the inspector was entering the Natanz facilities, our detectors identified that she could be carrying dangerous materials, and several actions took place afterwards.”

U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, Jackie Wolcott, said the detention of the IAEA inspector was an “outrageous provocation”.

“All Board members need to make clear now and going forward that such actions are completely unacceptable, will not be tolerated, and must have consequences,” Wolcott added.

Gharibabadi explained that detectors were used several times on the inspector’s purse as well as in the bathroom she had used, showing traces of suspicious materials.

“This is an alarming signal for us and we can’t ignore this issue easily,” he said, adding that the detectors only sounded for her and not the other inspectors. 

“We have requested that the inspector cooperates with us and clarifies what materials she was carrying and possibly dumped when she went to the bathroom,” the ambassador stated.

MH/PA

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