DUBAI/PARIS, May 31 (Reuters) – Iran accused the International Atomic Energy Agency on Tuesday of publishing an unfair report on its investigation into Tehran’s nuclear activities, possibly setting up a fresh diplomatic clash with the West.
The U.N. watchdog on Monday said Iran had not credibly answered long-standing questions about the origin of uranium particles found at three undeclared sites, despite a fresh push for a breakthrough. Read full story
“Unfortunately this report does not reflect the reality of talks between Iran and the agency,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Tuesday.
“This is not a fair nor balanced report, and it seems that pressure from the Zionists and other actors has diverted the path of technical reports to the political field – and we expect this trend to be corrected,” he said.
The lack of progress could set up a new diplomatic clash with the West when the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors meets next week. If Western powers seek a resolution criticising Tehran, it could deal a further blow to stalled efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
Those powers have until now repeatedly shied away from admonishing Iran at the board on the same issue fearing it could jeopardise the nuclear talks.
“We call on Iran to respond without delay to the questions and needs of the IAEA under its safeguards agreement,” France’s deputy foreign ministry spokesman, Francois Delmas, told reporters.
“We are in close consultation with our partners on the follow-up to be given to this situation at the next Board of Governors.”
Iran and the United States engaged in indirect talks in Vienna over the past year to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers which then-U.S. President Donald Trump left in 2018.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Nick Macfie)