Iran Insists Parchin Is Not Nuclear Site, but Agrees to Let IAEA Inspect

Iran’s Foreign Ministry says military site not used for nuclear activities; UN nuclear watchdog has been denied access to the site in the past.

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Tehran repeated its insistence Tuesday that there were no nuclear activities at the military site of Parchin, but said Iran would still allow the International Atomic Energy Agency team to inspect the site.

"Parchin is a military site and speculations that this site is used for nuclear activities are totally wrong," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in Tehran.

The base in Parchin where Iran conducted nuclear tests.Credit: Google Earth, GeoEye

Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only.

One of the IAEA's main demands of Iran is the clarification of work at the Parchin site, south-east of the capital Tehran, which the West suspects of being used for a secret nuclear weapon program.

Iranian authorities denied UN inspectors access to the site during two IAEA visits to Tehran. As Parchin is not a registered nuclear site, Iran says it is not obliged to allow IAEA inspections there.

"We basically have no objection to any IAEA inspections of Parchin but some modalities had first to be cleared, and if the visiting UN team had been a bit more patient, the permission would have been granted back then," Mehmanparast said of their February visit.

Mehmanparast also rejected charges by IAEA diplomats in Vienna that Iran would cover up nuclear activities at Parchin before any possible IAEA visit to the site.

"Anybody familiar with nuclear activities is aware that nuclear traces cannot be cleaned up or covered," the spokesman said.

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