“We’re not going to visit a military site like Parchin just to send a political signal,” Reuters cited an unnamed IAEA official as saying, referring to a military complex located 30 kilometers from the capital, Tehran.
The comments came after US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley met last week with IAEA officials in an attempt to push the UN nuclear watchdog into requesting inspections of Iranian military sites.
However, Iran slammed the trip, which came just ahead of the Agency’s new report on Tehran’s compliance with the deal, with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif describing it as an attempt to manipulate and press the IAEA.
The IAEA has invariably verified Iran’s commitment to the deal, which took effect in January 2016.
It once again verified Iranian compliance in its latest report on Thursday.
The IAEA’s Board of Governors voted overwhelmingly in December 2015, months after the nuclear deal was signed, in favor of a resolution that closed the so-called possible military dimensions (PMD) case in Iran’s nuclear program.
Haley’s visit came as part of a review US President Donald Trump has ordered into the nuclear deal, which was signed between Iran and world countries, including the US itself, in 2015. Trump, who had made no secret of opposing Iran in his election campaign, has threatened to “tear up” the agreement, calling it “the worst deal ever negotiated.”
A second IAEA official also said, “We just don’t want to give them an excuse to” bring down the accord.
Apart from the US, the other parties to the nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have unexceptionally stood by the accord, and warned Washington against trying to sabotage it.
Most recently, French President Emmanuel Macron said his country saw “no alternative” to the agreement.