But they have nothing to hide regarding their peaceful nuclear program, of course. Other inspectors will be just fine, you see. “Iran bars U.N. inspectors in escalating nuclear row,” by Hossein Jaseb and Sylvia Westall for Reuters, June 21 (thanks to Maxwell):
TEHRAN/VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has barred two U.N. nuclear inspectors from entering the Islamic Republic, adding to tension less than two weeks after Tehran was hit by new U.N. sanctions over its disputed atomic program.
Officials accused the two unnamed inspectors of providing wrong information that some nuclear equipment was missing in a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month and declared them persona non grata.
They made clear Iran would still allow the Vienna-based U.N. watchdog to monitor its nuclear facilities, saying other experts could carry out the work.
“Inspections are continuing without any interruption,” Iran’s IAEA envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh told reporters in Vienna.
But, “we have to show more vigilance about the performance of the inspectors to protect the confidentiality,” he said, criticizing alleged leaks by inspectors to Western media.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said Tehran had asked the IAEA to replace the two inspectors, the ISNA news agency reported.
There was no immediate comment from the IAEA, but a diplomat confirmed that Iran had notified the agency of the ban.
Iran has the right to refuse certain inspectors under its agreement with the agency, which has around 200 people who are trained to conduct inspections in the Islamic state. Iran denied entry to a senior U.N. inspector in 2006….
Iran denied that the equipment — an electrochemical cell — had disappeared from the research laboratory and said inspectors had incorrectly described the work taking place there.
“We gave documents, pictures, everything, which proved this was a mistake,” Soltanieh said.
Salehi said Iran last week announced the two IAEA inspectors were banned for an “utterly untruthful” report.
“We asked that they would not ever send these two inspectors to Iran and instead assign two others,” he added….