Energy agency team barred from Iran nuclear site

22 February 2012

International Atomic Energy Agency suspects Parchin as site of nuclear weapons explosives testing

Iran has stopped a delegation of UN nuclear inspectors from visiting a military site in the country.

The team from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says no deal has been reached on inspecting the Parchin site, which is south of Tehran. The team arrived in Iran on 20 February for its second visit in a month. The visit was aimed at clarifying the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear programme.

“It is disappointing that Iran did not accept our request to visit Parchin,” says IAEA director general Yukiya Amano in a statement.

The IAEA suspects Parchin as being the site where explosives related to nuclear weapons may have been tested. After two days of talks, the team will now leave Iran without a deal on a document “facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues” in connection with Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh, said Tehran expected to hold further talks with the IAEA.

Regional tensions are escalating over speculation that Israel is planning a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

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