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IAEA raises the alarm over Iran’s nuclear program and asks for clarifications

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sounded the “alarm” about Iran’s nuclear program and asked it for “clarifications” about an unlisted site, its director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi told AFP on Tuesday.

“The most accurate alarm,” Grossi said during an interview with AFP. Grosse added in Paris to meet President Emmanuel Macron that “Iran must decide to cooperate in a clearer manner with the agency to provide the necessary clarifications,” noting that “traces of manufactured uranium” were found in Tehran in November 2019.

The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency indicated that this warning to Iran will be the subject of a report addressed to the member states of the agency that will meet next week at the level of its board of governors. The IAEA will also report on this occasion about Iran’s current nuclear activities, after Tehran has abandoned most of its obligations under the 2015 Vienna agreement that limits its nuclear capabilities.

“The report will say that I am not getting the cooperation I am seeking. I need more (…). It is serious. It is my duty to call attention,” the general manager added.

“We have found traces (of uranium in an unlisted location) that is very important and this means that there is a possibility of nuclear activities and materials that are not subject to international control and we do not know their origin or fate,” said Grossi, who took over at the head of the agency late last year. He continued, “This is something that worries me.”

Several months ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been asking Tehran to clarify the nature of the activities carried out on this site whose whereabouts are not identified by the United Nations agency, but diplomatic sources told Agence France-Presse that it is a warehouse in the Torgouzabad region of Tehran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of lying about the site and of having carried out nuclear activities in the past in violation of its international obligations.

The nuclear deal signed with Iran has faced threats since the U.S. withdrew from it in 2018 and tightened sanctions on Iran.

Under the weight of the sanctions, Tehran replied that, starting in May 2019, it had abandoned many of its obligations.

But the question Grossi raised on Tuesday has nothing to do with the agreement. “Iran has other obligations and (is subject to) inspections other than those related to” the nuclear deal, he said.

“Politics is another. Inspections should not be underestimated. We must respect responsibilities to inspections. … These are not academic issues. There are places, clues and information that the agency needs clarification on and this is not possible at the moment,” he added.

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