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IAEA Director General Grossi addresses the media after a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna IAEA Director General Grossi addresses the media after a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna 

UN nuclear watchdog seeks to inspect old nuclear sites in Iran

The board of the UN atomic watchdog agency has issued a condemnation of Iran for stonewalling its nuclear inspectors.

By Nathan Morley

The United Nations’ atomic agency is continuing to put pressure on Iran.

In a new resolution, the international body has insisted Iran provide access to two sites where nuclear activity may have taken place in the last two-decades.

The resolution, which was put forward by France, Germany, and Britain with support by the United States, was passed by 25 votes in favour.

China and Russia voted against while seven other countries abstained

The UN is calling on the Iranians to satisfy the Agency's requests without any further delay. It wants access to two sites in order to clarify whether undeclared nuclear activity took place there in the past.

However, Iran has been blocking access to the sites since early 2020, a move which has fuelled a diplomatic dispute. It is reported that the sites in question are not directly relevant to Iran's current nuclear programme.

Speaking after the vote, Kazem Gharib Abadi, the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA, said he strongly rejected the resolution and would respond appropriately in due course.

For its part, the IAEA said it still has the access it needs to inspect Iran's declared nuclear facilities according to its mandate under the nuclear deal reached in 2015.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report
20 June 2020, 17:02