AFP: The United States on Monday denounced a reported decision by Iran to bar some UN nuclear inspectors from the country as an attempt to “dictate terms” to the international community in the standoff over Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
WASHINGTON, Jan 22, 2007 (AFP) – The United States on Monday denounced a reported decision by Iran to bar some UN nuclear inspectors from the country as an attempt to “dictate terms” to the international community in the standoff over Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
“It’s another indication that Iran continues in its defiant attitude toward the international community,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said of reports Iran would block 38 inspectors from the International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear regulator.
The Vienna-based IEAE said it was discussing the demand with Iran but added that it could continue monitoring the country’s nuclear facilities even without the inspectors designated by Tehran.
Last month, Iran’s parliament adopted a bill requiring the government to revise its cooperation with the IAEA, after the UN Security Council passed a resolution to impose sanctions on Tehran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment work.
Alaeddin Borujerdi, head of parliament’s national security commission, said on Monday that blocking the inspectors was a “first step in implementing the parliament legislation.”
McCormack said the move was “another example of the Iranians trying to dictate terms to the international community”.
“This regime clearly doesn’t get it,” he said.
“If they continue in this kind of behavior, they will find themselves only more and more isolated from the rest of the world,” he said.
The UN imposed sanctions targetting Iran’s nuclear and missile sectors after Tehran refused to comply with demands it freeze a uranium enrichment program some fear is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.
Iran’s government insists the program is only designed to produce fuel for civilian energy production, an activity allowed under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
“I don’t know who’s providing the leadership their advice, but it doesn’t do their reputation in the international system any good and this kind of defiant behavior only adds to that,” McCormack said.