Pompeo slams Iran 'intimidation' of IAEA inspector as 'outrageous'

Clay Curtis
November 10, 2019

"Netanyahu's biggest lie is that Iran is after nuclear weapons".

The alarm during a check at the entrance to the plant in central Iran had raised concerns that she could be carrying a "suspect product" on her, Iran's Atomic Energy Organization said in a statement posted online.

"Of course, Iran enjoys nuclear capability and technology and there is no doubt about that".

Last year, the United States pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal Tehran signed with six world powers, in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The top U.S. diplomat said Iran "detained" the inspector, who the International Atomic Energy Agency has said had been briefly prevented from leaving Iran.

He said Iran has the "capacity to produce five percent, twenty percent, sixty percent, or any percentage" of enriched uranium, a claim often repeated by Tehran. However, once Iran reaches 20% purity it is a relatively short technical jump to reach 90% enrichment.

Early on Thursday, Iran resumed injection of UF6 gas into the centrifuge machines installed at Fordow nuclear facility as part of the country's fourth step to modify nuclear deal undertakings.

Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the JCPOA after the U.S. withdrawal, but the three European Union parties to the deal (France, Britain, and Germany) have failed to ensure Iran's economic interests.

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Under the 2015 deal, Iran was not supposed to enrich uranium at the site until 2030.

Moscow is calling on all members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, not to test its limits or the agreement might fall apart, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Friday.

As a result, she was denied entry, it added, without specifying whether or not anything had been found in her possession.

Kamalvandi said that Iran's report on the incident to the International Atomic Energy Agency had convinced everyone but "the USA, the Zionist regime and some Persian Gulf countries".

"We're doing this because we want to salvage the nuclear deal from total collapse", Baeidinejad told Sky News.

The IAEA has not publicly commented on the incident with the inspector so far.

Earlier this year, Iran announced that it will gradually scale back its nuclear obligations - a year after the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA.

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