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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN Calls on Iran for Access to Suspected Nuclear Sites

By VOA News June 19, 2020

The United Nations nuclear agency said it passed a resolution Friday urging Iran to allow inspectors access to two sites where undeclared nuclear material was believed to have been used or stored.

The resolution was adopted at an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting at the United Nations.

Iran has not allowed access to the sites for months, leading to heightened diplomatic tensions.

Britain, France and Germany proposed the resolution, which is supported by the U.S.

U.S. State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo said in a statement Friday, "Iran's denial of access to IAEA inspectors and refusal to cooperate with the IAEA's investigation is deeply troubling and raises serious questions about what Iran is trying to hide."

U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, said during a call with reporters Friday, "If Iran really has nothing to hide," as it claims, "then it should have no problem granting full access to IAEA inspectors."

The IAEA resolution "calls on Iran to fully cooperate with the agency and satisfy the agency's requests without any further delay, including by providing prompt access to the locations specified by the agency."

The resolution, which Russia and China opposed, puts more pressure on Tehran to stop blocking access to the sites.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, tweeted that the resolution is "counterproductive."

Iran's Foreign Ministry also criticized the resolution, saying the country has cooperated with the IAEA. Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement Friday the resolution is a "completely unconstructive and disappointing step."

Iran maintains the IAEA has no legal authority to inspect the sites, where activities are believed to have taken place earlier this century, before Iran agreed to the 2015 nuclear pact with global powers.

The U.S. withdrew from the deal in 2018. The other signatories, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, have since tried to preserve the agreement.

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