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Iran Blocks IAEA Inspectors


The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The Iranian government has banned two inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, from working in Iran.

The Iranian government has banned two inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, from working in Iran. The ban was announced by Iran's Atomic Energy Organization chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, who said the two, who were not named, had filed "false" reports on Iran's nuclear program.

IAEA Press Officer Greg Webb said in a statement: "The International Atomic Energy Agency can confirm that on 10 June 2010 it received a letter from Iran objecting to the designation of two IAEA safeguards inspectors.

"The IAEA has full confidence in the professionalism and impartiality of the inspectors concerned. The Agency confirms that its report on the implementation of safeguards in Iran, issued on 31 May 2010, is fully accurate.

"The IAEA will continue to monitor the situation carefully and keep Member States informed as appropriate."

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called the banning of the two IAEA inspectors by Iran "worrisome" and "symptomatic of its longstanding practice of intimidating inspectors in which Iran has engaged."

"IAEA inspectors should be free to report on what they see during the course of their duties. . . .Reducing cooperation with the IAEA will only deepen the world's concern with respect to its nuclear program. Iran's obligations are clear and were made more so through the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which underscores the requirement that Iran has to cooperate fully with the IAEA."

Iran's decision to block the inspectors, said Mr. Crowley, "will not engender or encourage the international community to believe that Iran's program is peaceful in nature." He said the United States remains focused on implementing and enforcing economic sanctions that have been adopted by the Security Council, while at the same time making clear to Iran's leaders that the diplomatic option to resolve the issues that have been raised by Iran's nuclear program remains available.

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