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Middle East
Iran bars UN nuclear inspectors
Two inspectors declared persona non-grata for authoring "false" report.
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2010 16:36 GMT
Iran insists that its nuclear programme has purely peaceful intentions [EPA]

Iran has barred two United Nations nuclear inspectors from entering the country in a further escalation of an international dispute over its nuclear programme.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, said the two were declared persona non-grata after authoring an "untruthful" report about the country's nuclear work.

"These two inspectors do not have the right to come to Iran because they leaked information before it was to be officially announced and they also filed a false report," Salehi was quoted by the state broadcaster ISNA as saying on Monday.

"In other words because of these two reasons it has led us to [bar] them from coming to Iran," he said.

'Fully accurate'

Iran has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to replace the two inspectors with new officials who would be allowed to visit the country's nuclear
facilities, he said.

"The IAEA has full confidence in the professionalism and impartiality of the inspectors concerned"

Greg Webb,
IAEA spokesman

Salehi did not say what elements of the report he did not believe were accurate.

Alaeddin Borujerdi, who heads the parliament's foreign policy commission, last week called for action against the IAEA inspectors, citing the same reasons as Salehi.

The IAEA has rejected Iranian claims that its inspectors had falsely reported information about Tehran's nuclear work.

"The IAEA has full confidence in the professionalism and impartiality of the inspectors concerned," Greg Webb, an IAEA spokesman, said in a statement.

"The agency confirms that its report on the implementation of safeguards in Iran, issued on 31 May 2010, is fully accurate."

He said the IAEA would continue to monitor the situation but did not confirm whether the agency would send alternative inspectors instead.

UAE takes action

The West accuses Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb, a charge that Tehran has repeatedly denied.

in depth

 

  Focus:
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The IAEA said in late May that Iran was preparing extra equipment to enrich uranium to higher levels and continued to stockpile nuclear material.

On June 9, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth set of sanctions on Iran, including financial and military restrictions.

The resolution bans the sale to Iran of eight new types of heavy  weapons and applies new restrictions on Iranian investments abroad.

The United Arab Emirates has closed down 40 international and local businesses as part of a crackdown on companies that violate UN sanctions on Iran, according to a newspaper report published on Monday.

The Gulf News, quoting an unnamed UAE official, said the companies had been dealing in "dual-use and dangerous materials banned under UN resolutions and the nuclear non-proliferation treaty," quoting an unnamed  UAE official.

"Operations of any company in the UAE proved to have connections with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, other entities or individuals subject to the UN asset freeze will immediately be shut  down," the official said.

About 400,000 Iranians are based in the UAE and for years, Iran has maintained active trade relations with Dubai, one of the emirates.

Source:
Agencies
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