TEHRAN -- Western allies have accused Iran of engaging in nuclear activity “inconsistent” with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), using an incorrect International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report as the basis of their claim.
Through the report, the IAEA on Wednesday accused Iran of making an undeclared change to the interconnection between the two clusters of advanced machines enriching uranium in the country’s Fordo nuclear facility.
The United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany seized on the opportunity to accuse Iran of making an “unnotified change” to the devices that are installed at the facility.
The alleged change, they said, “is inconsistent with Iran’s obligations under its NPT-required Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.”
Soon after the report, Iran notified the IAEA of its mistaken nature.
Contacting the agency on Thursday, Iran’s nuclear chief Muhammad Eslami said the report had been produced based on a mistake made by an IAEA inspector during an unannounced visit to the site.
“The agency’s position is regrettable,” said Eslami, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), adding Iran immediately provided an explanation.
“We gave a letter to the agency that an inspector... made a mistake and gave an incorrect report,” Eslami was quoted on Saturday as saying by the IRNA news agency.
“But yet again the director-general of the agency released this issue to the media,” he said, denouncing it as “unprofessional and unacceptable” behavior.
“We hope that this practice will not be continued... because this is not acceptable for his reputation and the agency.”
The Islamic Republic started enriching uranium to the purity level of 60% at Fordo in November, describing the move as a strong message to an earlier anti-Iran resolution, which had been initiated by Washington and the European troika and passed by the IAEA’s Board of Governors.
The resolution had criticized Iran for, what it called, a lack of cooperation with the agency, something that Tehran has invariably rejected as untrue.