Iran is to cooperate with the international nuclear watchdog as before despite banning two of its inspectors from entering the country, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday, DPA reported.
Iran last week told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it considered two of its inspectors personae non grata for revealing what Tehran called false information.
The spokesman said in his weekly briefing, carried by the local broadcaster Press TV, that all IAEA member states had the right to bar specific inspectors.
Mehmanparast said it was, therefore, within Iran's rights to ban inspectors held responsible for the "unauthorized and incorrect transfer of information."
"This does, however, not mean that we freeze cooperation with the IAEA," Mehmanparast said, adding that Iran has "asked the agency to introduce new inspectors."
The international community is concerned about Iran's uranium-enrichment programme, which Tehran claims is for peaceful, civilian purposes.
According to the IAEA's latest report on Iran, issued in late May, inspectors observed in a Tehran laboratory that a piece of equipment used in uranium experiments had gone missing since their previous visit.
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to Vienna, where the IAEA is headquartered, denied that anything was removed and has disputed that the laboratory ever carried out uranium experiments.
Soltanieh has also demanded an inquiry into how information about the missing item was leaked to the US media before the report was issued.
The UN Security Council passed a resolution this month imposing new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme.