Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Reza Najafi, has emphasized that recent sampling at the Parchin military site was not done under IAEA supervision.
In his comments to the semi-official Iranian Fars news agency, Najafi categorically rejected a news report by the Reuters news agency quoting IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano as saying that the sampling had been done under the supervision of the UN agency’s inspectors.
"We have not allowed any IAEA inspector into Parchin site to take samples or supervise our sampling; we have taken the samples by ourselves," he stressed.
Najafi reiterated that Iranian experts have taken all the samples themselves, and added, "These are our red lines and no inspector is allowed to enter a military site for inspection."
The Iranian envoy underlined that the visit by Amano and his deputy to Parchin was a general visit which was done as a formality, and said, "They did not have any equipment even a mobile phone and their visit (to Parchin) did not last for more than a few minutes."
He said Amano's very brief visit to Parchin was only meant to "show him that there was not anything suspicious about the site and that the claims about Parchin are completely false".
Najafi’s comments reaffirm an announcement by Iran from Monday that it handed over to the IAEA alleged samples from Parchin which were taken by Iranian scientists with UN scientists not allowed on the site.
A side deal between Iran and the IAEA, signed separately from the deal with world powers, stipulates that Iran will inspect Parchin itself, with no international inspectors allowed in, even though both the IAEA and the United States had previously vehemently denied that Iran would be allowed to inspect the suspicious site on its own.
Despite Iran's claims that Parchin is unrelated to its nuclear program, last October it admitted to using Parchin to test exploding bridge wires, used as nuclear detonators.
The IAEA said recently that satellite imagery had shown the presence of vehicles, equipment and probable construction materials at the Parchin site, which American media reported as being suspicious and possible evidence of efforts to disguise past illicit activity.
Iran's UN mission called the reports "baseless", adding that construction work at the military complex, which also includes offices and residential buildings, is "quite normal".
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Yom Kippur in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)