Iran’s Rouhani says UN watchdog risks losing independence

TEHRAN: Iran's president warned Wednesday (Jun 24) that the UN nuclear watchdog risks losing its independence after it adopted a resolution urging access to two sites alleged to have hosted past nuclear activities.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency passed the resolution put forward by European states last week, calling on Iran to help clarify whether undeclared nuclear activities took place at the sites in the early 2000s.

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But the Islamic republic says the IAEA's requests for access were based on allegations from its arch-enemy Israel and had no legal basis.

"The Zionist regime and the Americans are pressuring the agency to investigate something related to 20, 18 years ago. They are deceiving the agency, misleading it," President Hassan Rouhani said during a televised cabinet meeting.

"Our expectation is that … the agency should be able to keep its independence," he added, warning that Israel and the United States were tarnishing its reputation.

Rouhani also slammed the three European parties to the Iran nuclear deal – Britain, France and Germany – for putting forward the resolution and "sullying themselves for no reason" by cooperating with Israel and the US.

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"We did not expect this from the Europeans," he said, while praising China and Russia – also parties to the nuclear deal – for standing against the resoRead More – Source