The head of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency leveled some of his harshest criticism yet on Iran’s refusal to comply with U.N. demands to reveal what is really happening with Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons development program.
“I am unable to report any progress on clarifying the issues relating to possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program,” International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano told the IAEA board of governors.
Despite repeated requests, Amano said Iran refuses to grant the IAEA access to its top-secret Parchin site where the IAEA suspects Iran constructed a large explosives-containment vessel for atomic bomb research.
“Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable us to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities,” Amano said.
He expressed his frustration that “it is now one year since I spelled out in detail the basis for the Agency's concerns about possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program… Iran has continued to enrich uranium … contrary to resolutions of the Agency's Board of Governors and of the UN Security Council.”
On Friday the U.S. Senate voted 94-0 to impose new sanctions on Iran, building on restrictions targeting the country's oil and financial industries.
“America, Israel, and the entire international community must prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,”said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “This is a commitment that President Obama has made and repeated, because we know very well the Iranian regime already exports terrorism, not only to Israel’s doorstep, but across the world.”
Iranian nuclear official Ali Asghar Soltanieh told the IAEA in Vienna last week that the six resolutions on Iran passed by the U.N. Security Council were "illegal" and that Tehran would "never suspend" its program, AFP reported.
One Western diplomat called Soltanieh’s comments "absolutely ridiculous" and said that it made him "very pessimistic" about renewed diplomatic efforts to resolve the long-running crisis. Soltanieh "did not address any of the issues that have been expressed in the board. It is very clear that the Iranians are not serious," the diplomat said.