U.S. Urges Iran to Grant UN Watchdog Access to Nuclear Site

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Mohammad Eslami, new head of Iran's nuclear agency talks on stage at the International Atomic Energy's General Conference in Vienna, last week.
Mohammad Eslami, new head of Iran's nuclear agency talks on stage at the International Atomic Energy's General Conference in Vienna, last week.Credit: Lisa Leutner / AP

Iran must grant the UN nuclear watchdog access to a workshop at the TESA Karaj complex as agreed two weeks ago or face diplomatic retaliation at the agency's Board of Governors within days, the United States said on Monday.

The workshop makes parts for centrifuges, machines that enrich uranium, and was targeted by apparent sabotage in June in which one of four International Atomic Energy Agency cameras there was destroyed and another badly damaged, after which Iran removed them.

TESA Karaj was one of several sites to which Iran agreed to grant IAEA inspectors access to service IAEA monitoring equipment and replace memory cards just as they were due to fill up with data such as camera footage. The September 12 accord helped avoid a diplomatic escalation between Iran and the West.

"We are deeply troubled by Iran's refusal to provide the IAEA with the needed access to service its monitoring equipment, as was agreed in the September 12 Joint Statement between the IAEA and Iran," a U.S. statement to the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors on Monday said.

It was responding to a report by IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi on Sunday that said Iran had granted access to sites as agreed on September 12 but not to the workshop, where IAEA inspectors were denied access on Sunday. They had planned to check if the workshop was ready to operate and re-install cameras if it was.

"We call on Iran to provide the IAEA with needed access without further delay," the U.S. statement said. "If Iran fails to do so, we will be closely consulting with other board members in the coming days on an appropriate response."

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