Oct 01, 2020 06:40 UTC
  • IAEA's inspectors visit second site in Iran, as part of last month agreement

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have visited the second of the two locations in Iran, as agreed in a last month deal between the two sides for verification purposes.

"As part of an agreement with Iran to resolve safeguards implementation issues specified by the IAEA, the Agency this week conducted a complementary access at the second location in the country and took environmental samples," the IAEA said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to Press TV, those samples and others taken at the first site will be sent to labs and analyzed for traces of nuclear material.

At the end of a two-day trip by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi to Tehran on August 26, Iran and the UN agency issued a joint statement on their agreements and the results of high-level talks between the two sides.

"After intensive bilateral consultations, Iran and the IAEA reached an agreement on the resolution of the safeguards implementation issues specified by the IAEA, in good faith. In this regard, Iran is voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the IAEA and facilitating the IAEA verification activities to resolve these issues," read part of the statement.

After the first site was visited by inspectors, Grossi told reporters at a presser on the sidelines of the IAEA's 35-member Board of Governors on September 14 that analyzing samples collected there would take "no less than a couple of months, two or three months maybe.”

Iran hopes IAEA’s visits will end US pressure on nuclear agency

Meanwhile, the Spokesperson for the Atomic Agency Organization of Iran, Behrouz Kamalvandi, confirmed that the second site inspection had taken place and expressed hope that such visits would prevent the US from politicizing the issue and putting more pressure on the IAEA.

“We had certain differences of opinion with the Agency over some issues, and these disagreements were about to end up in a deadlock due to political pressures. There was a possibility that a country like the US could exploit the persistence of such a situation. Therefore, we voluntarily told the Agency after evaluating the conditions  … that we will grant them access to these two locations once and for all,” so that the IAEA would close the case of the two sites, Kamalvandi said, according to Fars News Agency.

"We hope that such visits would strip countries like the US of the excuse they sought for politicizing Iran's case and bringing it to the Security Council,” he added.

He also expressed optimism that the visits will stop the US “putting further pressure on the Agency and taking advantage of it.”

The visit by the IAEA head to Tehran took place over two months after the Board of Governors on June 19 passed a resolution pushing for inspections of two sites that the UK, France and Germany claimed may have been used for undeclared nuclear activities in the early 2000s, the allegations that were categorically rejected by Tehran.

In a meeting with Grossi during his trip to Iran, President Hassan Rouhani underlined the need for further cooperation between Tehran and the UN nuclear agency, hailing the recent agreements reached between the two sides.