IAEA tells of thorough and recent clean-up of Iran nuke experiment
An Iranian military site suspected to be used to develop nuclear weapons has been cleaned up more extensively and recently than previously known, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) members states heard on Wednesday, dpa reported.
IAEA chief inspector Herman Nackaerts told diplomats in a closed briefing in Vienna that satellite images taken between May 5 and 25 show "ground-scraping activities" and the destruction of several buildings, several sources who attended the meeting told dpa.
The nuclear watchdog agency has made it a top priority to visit the Parchin site near Tehran, where key components for warheads are believed to have been tested.
IAEA director Yukiya Amano and Iranian officials agreed on May 21 to sign an agreement that would set out conditions for the inspection.
On Sunday however, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoun Abbasi, said the IAEA had yet to persuade Tehran to allow such a visit.
Iran's envoy in Vienna, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, did not comment on allegations of an Iranian cleanup effort to remove traces of tests, but said the IAEA would be able to do its investigation after an agreement is signed.
"And then the whole world will know that this whole noise and allegations are baseless," he told reporters.
An IAEA report released on Friday said satellite images shows clean-up work under way on at Parchin since November. A senior international official on that day said that the location had been rinsed with water, but did not mention the latest satellite evidence.