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IAEA Inspects Second Suspected Atomic Site in Iran

IAEA Inspects Second Suspected Atomic Site in Iran

Wednesday, 30 September, 2020 - 10:30
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters is pictured in Vienna, Austria September 26, 2017. (Reuters)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA has inspected the second of two suspected former secret atomic sites in Iran, as agreed with Tehran last month, the agency said on Wednesday.

The UN nuclear watchdog has not named either of the two undeclared sites but it has described activities it suspects took place there in 2003, the year when it and US intelligence services believe Iran halted a secret and coordinated nuclear weapons program.

Although the IAEA said it has the power to carry out snap inspections anywhere in Iran it deems necessary, Tehran had denied it access to the two sites for seven months until the deal was struck for access on specific dates this month.

“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, Reuters reported.

Those samples and others taken at the first site will be sent to labs and analyzed for traces of nuclear material, since the agency’s main task is to account for all nuclear material in a country to ensure it is not being used to make weapons.

Iran denies ever having had a nuclear weapons program.

It could take several months for the results of the sample analysis to be available.

Iran has denounced “attempts to open an endless process of verifying and cleaning-up of ever-continuing fabricated allegations,” strongly suggesting the IAEA was seeking access based on information Israel said it seized from Iran.

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