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US: Iran’s failure to address IAEA concerns “unacceptable”

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The United States said on Tuesday it was “totally unacceptable” for Iran to lag in its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is seeking answers to issues that diplomats say include the discovery of uranium traces at an undisclosed location.

The UN nuclear watchdog, which monitors Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, has asked Tehran in recent days to strengthen its cooperation, warning that “time is crucial.”

While the IAEA declined to comment on what prompted the warning, diplomats told Reuters that the inspectors found traces of uranium at an Iranian site that Israel described as a “secret nuclear store”.

“Any indication that Iran is not providing sufficient cooperation to the IAEA regarding possible undeclared nuclear materials or activities raises serious and profound suspicions,” the US statement to the quarterly meeting of the IAEA board of governors said.

“Iran’s failure to address the IAEA’s concerns in this regard is totally unacceptable and should give serious concern to all those who support the IAEA and its safeguards verification regime.”

Iran allows the IAEA to monitor its nuclear program as part of a 2015 deal with world powers under which Tehran has accepted restrictions on its nuclear activities in exchange for participation in the global trading system.

The United States withdrew from the deal last year and imposed sanctions on Iran aimed at halting its oil exports and forcing it to negotiate a “broader agreement.”

Iran has said it will negotiate only if Washington lifts sanctions.

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