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Iran cancels UN nuclear inspector visit

An upgraded version of the short-range surface-to-surface Fateh-110 missile is test fired in 2010 in this photo released by the Iranian Defense Ministry [Vahid Reza Alaei / Iranian Defense Ministry]
Iranian missile [Vahid Reza Alaei / Iranian Defense Ministry]

Iran has today cancelled the accreditation and visit of a UN nuclear inspector, following the recent revival of its uranium enrichment program.

The nuclear inspector working for the UN had her visit to the country’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant revoked after she reportedly triggered an alarm at its entrance last week. According to the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation (IAEO), the fact that she “triggered an alarm” raised concern that she was possibly carrying a “suspect product” on her, prompting today’s visit to be cancelled.

Following the incident, the IAEO said that it reported it to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and informed it that the inspector’s accreditation had been withdrawn, causing her to leave the country for Vienna where the organisation is based.

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The IAEA will reportedly be holding a special meeting dedicated to the issue of Iran and its recent actions which will consist of the 35 members of its council of governors, where “Iran’s representative to the IAEA will present a full report on the matter,” the IAEO has confirmed.

Iran’s cancellation of the inspector’s visit comes amid the country’s recent decision to inject uranium gas into centrifuges at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, and is part of a move to scale back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran has been debating on those commitments since the US’ withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and the re-imposition of sanctions on the country, which has resulted in a spiral of increasingly tense relations between the Islamic Republic and the US and EU in particular.

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Iran also claimed today that the percentage of uranium enrichment at its Fordow facility has almost reached the same levels as prior to the nuclear deal, raising concerns that the country is embarking on a clear path to attaining nuclear weapons.

Such a move puts the country in direct opposition to the US and its allies both in Europe and the Middle East, and in response, the US has imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic and  promised to deploy thousands of its troops to Saudi Arabia to monitor the Iranian threat, while Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei has renewed the country’s ban on negotiating with the US.

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Asia & AmericasInternational OrganisationsIranMiddle EastNewsUNUS
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