Yukiya Amano, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, has said he regrets Iran’s decision in June to bar two experienced nuclear inspectors from the country, saying repeated rejections of his agency’s staff were hindering their work.
Iran has accused the two experts from the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) of giving “false information” about its nuclear programme.
Amano told a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation governing board in Vienna, the Austrian capital, on Monday that he had full confidence in the inspectors’ “professionalism and impartiality”.
“I learned with great regret about Iran’s decision to object to the designation of two inspectors who recently conducted inspections in Iran,” he said.
The dispute over the inspectors has added to international concern about Iran’s nuclear energy programme, which some Western powers suspect is aimed at developing nuclear bombs.
Tehran denies this, saying it is solely for generating electricity.
Apart from the two barred in June, Iran also refused access to a senior inspector in 2006 and has objected to a number of other appointments in the past.