UN nuclear watchdog rejects Iran’s stance on military sites

UN nuclear watchdog rejects Iran’s stance on military sites
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano. (REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov)
Updated 03 September 2017

UN nuclear watchdog rejects Iran’s stance on military sites

UN nuclear watchdog rejects Iran’s stance on military sites

VIENNA: The top UN official monitoring Iran’s nuclear program has rejected Tehran’s claim that its military sites were off-limits to inspection, saying his agency needs access to all “relevant locations” if suspicions arise of possible hidden atomic activities.
The comments by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano are significant — his agency is policing the deal capping atomic activities that Iran says are peaceful but the US suspects are a covert pursuit of nuclear arms.
Amano said that under monitoring conditions accepted by Iran, his agency “has access to (all) locations without making distinctions between military and civilian locations” as it works to ensure that Iran does not have hidden nuclear activities.
Meanwhile, Iran’s new defense minister said the priority was to boost the country’s missile program and export weapons to shore up neighboring allies.
“In combat fields, especially in missiles, we have a specific plan to boost Iran’s missile power,” said Gen. Amir Hatami, who was appointed defense minister earlier this month, in a speech carried by the ISNA news agency.
“God willing, the combat capabilities of Iran’s ballistic and cruise missiles will increase in this term,” he added. Hatami also said Iran would look to export weapons “to prevent war and conflict.” He said: “Wherever a country becomes weak, others become encouraged to raid it ... Wherever necessary, we will export weapons to increase the security of the region and countries, to prevent wars.”