Iran has taken the controversial step of revoking the accreditation of IAEA inspectors.
Agency Head, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said Tehran had informed the agency that it would revoke the accreditation of several IAEA inspectors who inspect uranium enrichment facilities in the Islamic Republic.
He condemned the Iranian move, noting that these inspectors are among the agency’s most experienced experts, and have unique knowledge of enrichment techniques.
They have conducted significant verification work at Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities under IAEA safeguards, he said.
The Iranian move provoked angry reactions internationally, as the United States; Britain; France, and Germany called on Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA.
A joint statement by the four countries stressed the need for Iran to reverse its decision to ban a number of UN inspectors from working in the country and to enable the agency to provide guarantees that Iran’s nuclear programme is completely peaceful.
In the context of the angry reactions, the European Union urged Iran to reverse the decision to withdraw the accreditation of the IAEA inspectors.
It warned that the Iranian move would affect the agency’s ability to carry out verification activities related to Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Iranian authorities say the decision was taken in response to Western countries’ attempts to “disturb” the atmosphere of cooperation between them and the UN agency.
Nevertheless, the foreign ministers of Gulf Cooperation Council countries and US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, renewed in a joint statement calls for Iran cooperation fully with the IAEA.
Iran countered, however, by saying that its move came in response to a call by the United States; Britain; France, and Germany for Tehran to cooperate immediately with the IAEA on issues, including the reasons behind the presence of traces of uranium in undisclosed locations.
Iranian affairs specialist, Osama al-Hatimi, believes the Iranian move reflects the Islamic Republic’s insistence to counter pressures by Western countries, including demands for the IAEA to detect traces of uranium at two nuclear sites.
“This means one of two possibilities: either Iran wants to pass that issue that could expose undeclared nuclear development, or it wants to push the West into returning to the nuclear agreement as one of the most important mechanisms to limit this development,” al-Hatimi told The Reference.