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IAEA rejects Israel’s claim that Iran has hidden atomic facility, defers to US

“We have every confidence that the IAEA will continue to carry out its responsibilities in Iran with the highest level of professionalism and diligence,” said Nicole Shampaine, acting U.S. representative for International Organizations.

Yukiya Amano, then director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations, addresses the U.N. General Assembly as it considers a report of the IAEA on Dec. 12, 2016. Credit: U.N. Photo/Rick Bajornas.
Yukiya Amano, then director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations, addresses the U.N. General Assembly as it considers a report of the IAEA on Dec. 12, 2016. Credit: U.N. Photo/Rick Bajornas.

The International Atomic Energy Agency rebuffed Israel’s claim that Iran is employing a hidden atomic warehouse, resisting pressure to inspect the alleged facility.

The IAEA “uses all safeguards relevant to information available to it, but it does not take any information at face value,” IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said in a statement on Tuesday. “All information obtained, including from third parties, is subject to rigorous review.”

This development comes a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the accusation about Iran in his address to the U.N. General Assembly. He said that he asked the IAEA to examine the site, which he said Iran “took this radioactive material and spread it around Tehran like Nutella.”

Additionally, the United States expressed optimism last month about the IAEA’s inspections regime towards Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“We have every confidence that the IAEA will continue to carry out its responsibilities in Iran with the highest level of professionalism and diligence,” said Nicole Shampaine, acting U.S. representative for International Organizations. “The Secretariat can continue to count on the full support of the United States as it implements the agency’s mandate in Iran.”

Asked if the United States can trust the IAEA on Iran, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told JNS she had not heard about Shampaine’s sentiment and therefore could not comment.

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