Inspecting Iran's Parchin site would be 'useful': IAEA

Updated 07 December 2012
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Inspecting Iran's Parchin site would be 'useful': IAEA

WASHINGTON: UN nuclear inspections at a military complex near Tehran would be “very useful” despite extensive earth-moving work there by Iranian authorities, the head of the UN atomic agency said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has accused Iranian authorities of undermining its effort to probe suspected nuclear weapons research at the Parchin facility by carrying out possible clean-up operations.
“As these activities are quite intensive, particularly recently, we have concerns that our capacity to verify would have been severely undermined,” IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said at a Council on Foreign Relations conference.
But he added: “I continue to believe that having access is very useful to have a better understanding of the past and current activities at Parchin.”
An IAEA team in 2005 was allowed to inspect the site, where Iranian researchers are suspected of conducting test explosions that could be applied to nuclear weapons.
But at the sprawling complex, the UN team “did not have the information to identify the right spot” to inspect, the IAEA chief said.
“This time, we have additional information. We requested access to particular sites and buildings of Parchin,” he said.
But once the UN agency made the request, satellite imagery showed “very extended activities by Iran. This included demolition of buildings, removal of soils, moving fences, all of these things,” he said.
The UN agency has bolstered its dialogue with Iran but is still not able to declare that all nuclear material there is designated for “peaceful” purposes, he said.


Tunisia reopens consulate in Libyan capital Tripoli

Updated 21 April 2018
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Tunisia reopens consulate in Libyan capital Tripoli

  • Most embassies left Tripoli in 2014 when heavy fighting broke out between rival factions.
  • Only a few embassies came back when a UN-backed administration took office in 2016.

Tripoli: Tunisia has reopened its consulate in the Libyan capital, the Libya foreign ministry said on Saturday, the latest mission to return to Tripoli.
Most embassies left Tripoli in 2014 when heavy fighting broke out between rival factions and few came back when a UN-backed administration took office in 2016.
The Tunisian consulate resumed work after talks between the two countries, the Libyan foreign ministry said. The Tunisian foreign ministry declined to comment, but a diplomatic source confirmed the move.
Tunisian had closed its mission 2015 after ten staff were kidnapped.
In recent weeks some Western embassies have sent diplomats for longer stays to Tripoli as security has improved, although few stay full time on the ground.
The Italian and Turkish embassies as well as the UN mission are among the few open.
Tripoli is formally run by a Government of National Accord backed by the UN but in reality controlled by a patchwork of armed groups.
Big street clashes between rival groups have ended, but several rockets which hit Tripoli airport this week were a reminder that security remains shaky.
The UN has been trying to meditate to produce a national government and end the rift between the administration in Tripoli and a rival one in the east, part of a conflict gripping the oil producer since the toppling of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.