UN nuclear watchdog inspects second Iran site

The UN's nuclear watchdog said Wednesday it had gained access to a second site in Iran where undeclared nuclear activity may have take place in the early 2000s.

"As part of an agreement with Iran to resolve safeguards implementation issues specified by the IAEA, the agency this week conducted a complementary access at the second location in the country and took environmental samples," the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

Late last month Iran announced it would allow the IAEA access to two sites -- their exact locations have not been made public -- following a visit to Tehran by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.

The first site was visited by inspectors in early September.

Iran had denied the agency access to the locations earlier this year, prompting the IAEA's board of governors to pass a resolution in June urging Iran to comply with its requests.

The row had threatened to put yet more strain on the 2015 landmark Iran nuclear deal, which has hung by a thread since the US pulled out of it in 2018.

At a press conference on September 14, Grossi said analysing environmental samples collected at the first site would take "not less than a couple of months, two or three months maybe".

On Wednesday the spokesperson for the Iranian Atomic Agency Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, confirmed that the second site inspection had taken place and said access to the two sites had been given "on the condition that they not be raised again".

Referring to the agreement struck while Grossi was in Tehran, Kamalvandi said: "There was a possibility of America exploiting this issue, therefore by inviting the agency's director we talked about our concerns."

"We hope that such visits would deprive America of the excuse they sought for politicising Iran's case and bringing it to the Security Council," Kamalvandi told the Akharin Khabar news agency.

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Europe 'will not compromise' with US over Iran sanctions: Macron
United Nations, United States (AFP) Sept 22, 2020
French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that Europe would not compromise with the United States over Washington's move to reactivate sanctions on Iran, warning the so-called snapback could undermine the UN Security Council and increase Middle East tensions. Macron assailed the "maximum pressure" policy of US President Donald Trump, saying it had failed to curb Tehran's interference in the region or ensure it would not acquire a nuclear weapon. "We will not compromise on the activation of ... read more

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