Iranian experts take samples from disputed Parchin site without IAEA inspectors presence

Iranian experts take samples from disputed Parchin site without IAEA inspectors presence

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 21

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iranian experts took environmental samples from the Parchin military base without presence of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran (AEOI) said.

The sampling carried out last week within the framework of the Iran-IAEA cooperation, Kamalvandi said, Iran 's IRNA news agency reported Sept. 21.

He further said that the Iranian experts took samples from certain points in Parchin in compliance with the relevant regulations and standards. Iran has handed over the samples to the IAEA experts, he added.

Parchin military base, located near the capital city of Tehran, is where the UN body suspects Iran has conducted nuclear-related tests more than a decade ago. But Iran has repeatedly denied any nuclear activity at Parchin, noting that 'road construction' activities have been done at the site.

The procedure for taking the samples, which could shed light on whether Iran's nuclear program ever had a military dimension, has been under intense discussion since Tehran reached a nuclear deal with world powers in July.

It was earlier reported that inspectors from IAEA would observe samples being taken.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visited the disputed parts of Parchin site, together with the Head of the Department of Safeguards, Tero Varjoranta on Sept. 20 during his Iran trip.

Kamalvandi further touched upon the visit of the IAEA experts to Iran, saying the parties held various technical-legal meetings last week to settle the remaining disputes. The meetings were constructive, Kamalvandi said, adding, the sides agreed to continue the cooperation within next weeks till October 15, based on the joint roadmap.

Amano and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi signed a roadmap of cooperation in Vienna on July 14, the same day Tehran and the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) reached the historic nuclear deal.

Edited by CN

Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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