Crisis between UN, Iran over monitoring of nuclear sites

In two new reports, the International Atomic Energy Agency determines there has been no progress regarding two fundamental problems. In addition, the UN nuclear watchdog claims that Iran is impeding regular monitoring of nuclear sites  

Crisis between UN, Iran over monitoring of nuclear sites

Photo Credit: Dean Calma / IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the UN has strongly criticized Iran for delaying and preventing investigations of its past nuclear activities, jeopardizing important monitoring operations and complicating efforts to renew the nuclear talks in Vienna.  

In two new reports, the IAEA said that there was no progress on two fundamental problems: first, explaining traces of uranium found at several old nuclear sites whose existence was not declared, and second, getting urgent access to several types of equipment used for monitoring the nuclear sites.   

The investigation regarding the remnants of uranium has been going on for over a year, and the UN inspectors are demanding access to the memory cards that are necessary for the continuous monitoring of the centrifuges and other equipment for enrichment of uranium. Without all of these, the reports concluded, Iran could produce and hide an unknown amount of equipment that can be used for manufacturing nuclear weapons or reactor fuel.     

The IAEA's criticism of Iran means that the U.S. and European countries will have to decide this week, at a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, whether to pass a resolution to pressure Iran to submit to the demands.  

One of the reports by the IAEA gives the example of cameras that inspectors installed at one of the nuclear sites. The report said one of the cameras was destroyed and the other camera was seriously damaged. The Iranians announced that that they removed the cameras in order to hand them over to the IAEA inspectors. But when the equipment was handed over, it was discovered that the data storage and recording units were missing. This week, the agency asked Iran again to hand over all the equipment and provide explanations for what was missing.  

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