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IAEA Female Inspectors Harassed at Iran’s Natanz Facility

IAEA Female Inspectors Harassed at Iran’s Natanz Facility

Wednesday, 15 September, 2021 - 09:30
Satellite image of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran. (AP)

Diplomats said Iranian security forces have physically harassed several female UN nuclear watchdog observers in the past few months, and the United States has called on Iran to immediately stop this behavior, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Incidents previously reported at Iran’s main nuclear plant, Natanz, allegedly included improper touching of female inspectors by male security guards and orders to remove some clothing, diplomats said.

At least four separate incidents of harassment have occurred, a diplomat said. Another diplomat said there were five to seven.

One diplomat told the Journal that there were as many as seven separate incidents of harassment. The first one took place in early June while the most recent incident took place within the past few weeks, diplomats said.

Ahead of this week’s board meeting of member states, as seen by the Wall Street Journal, a paper circulated by the United States to members of the International Atomic Energy Agency called for an end to such practices.

In an implicit response to the memo, Iran’s permanent ambassador to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, tweeted that “security measures at Iran’s nuclear facilities have been reasonably toughened,” adding that “IAEA inspectors are gradually dealing with the new rules and regulations.”

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