IAEA fends off Israel pressure over Iran

IAEA fends off Israel pressure over Iran

VIENNA: The UN’s nuclear watchdog Tuesday refused to “take at face value” Israel’s claims that Iran is harbouring a secret atomic warehouse, fending off pressure to inspect the allegedly suspect site.nnIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the claim in front of the UN General Assembly last week.nnWithout explicitly referring to Netanyahu’s claim, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano insisted that the agency’s independence was “of paramount importance” for its work.nnThe IAEA “uses all safeguards-relevant information available to it but it does not take any information at face value,” Amano said in a statement.nnNetanyahu accused Iran of operating a “secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran’s secret nuclear weapons programme.”nnHe urged the IAEA to inspect the site.nnAmano said the IAEA would not be told how to do its work.nn”All information obtained, including from third parties, is subject to rigorous review,” he said.nnHe said the IAEA’s work “must always be impartial, factual, and professional.” Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to scale down its nuclear activities and submit to IAEA inspections in exchange for relief from sanctions.nnIsrael bitterly opposes the deal and congratulated USnnPresident Donald Trump for walking away from it earlier this year.nnThe IAEA has repeatedly said that Iran is continuing to meet its commitments under the deal.nnAmano said on Tuesday that evaluations of Iran’s compliance were “ongoing”.nnSource: AFP

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