UN nuclear watchdog urges Iran to fully cooperate

Xinhua News Agency | Nov 21, 2019 at 3:53 PM

VIENNA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The acting chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Thursday that Iran should cooperate fully with the agency.

"As I reported to the Board on November 7, the Agency has detected natural uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at a location in Iran not declared to the Agency," said acting Director General Cornel Feruta in his statement to the Agency's Board of Governors.

"We have continued our interactions with Iran since then, but have not received any additional information and the matter remains unresolved," he said.

A meeting between the Agency and Iran is scheduled next week in Tehran to discuss the matter, Feruta said.

"It is essential that Iran works with the Agency to resolve this matter promptly. I call upon Iran to provide full and timely cooperation with the Agency in implementing its Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol," Feruta said.

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said earlier this month that Iran started pumping uranium gas into the centrifuges at the Fordow nuclear plant, which is located in a mountain bunker 160 km south of the capital Tehran.

Iran's move came as the fourth step to scale back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), after the United States reneged on the deal in 2018.

Under the nuclear deal, Iran agreed to put curbs on its nuclear activities in exchange for the termination of economic and financial sanctions.