IAEA has no right, duty to visit military sites: Salehi
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have neither the right nor any duty to inspect Iran’s military and missile sites, a senior Iranian official says.
“The agency’s inspectors have no right and [no] responsibility to do it. There is no authority in the world [responsible] for inspecting such facilities, and there is no treaty in that regard, either,” Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said on Saturday.
“The IAEA is not in a position to conduct such inspections,” he underscored, dismissing certain media reports which quoted him as saying that the agency’s inspectors will visit Iran’s missile industries for more transparency.
In November, Iran and the IAEA agreed on a road map based on which Iran would, on a voluntary basis, allow IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water plant and the Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas, in southern Iran, despite the fact that Tehran is under no such obligation to do so under the Safeguards Agreement.
The voluntary move is a goodwill gesture on the part of Iran to clear up ambiguities over the peaceful nature of its nuclear energy program.
Salehi further denied charges leveled by certain Western countries suggesting a diversion in Iran’s civilian atomic work.
“Such accusations are unfounded given the IAEA’s inspections and [Iran’s] broad transparency moves and cooperation,” the AEOI head said.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence showing that Iran's civilian nuclear energy program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.