Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have visited a secret facility in Tehran that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said was an undeclared “atomic warehouse,” Reuters reported Thursday.
“They’ve visited the site,” an anonymous source told the outlet. One diplomat said that the IAEA had been to the site more than once last month. Other sources confirmed his account without specifying when the IAEA visited the facility. The IAEA declined to comment.
“We have nothing to hide and any access given to the IAEA so far has been in the framework of laws and regulations and nothing beyond that,” an Iranian official said.
Netanyahu, during a dramatic speech before the United Nations General Assembly in September, revealed that Iran had a nuclear warehouse in Tehran, in addition to the nuclear archives Israel revealed in April 2018.
The new facility, according to Netanyahu, is used by Iran for “storing massive amounts of equipment and material from Iran’s secret weapons program.” He charged that the Islamic Republic has already moved 15 kilograms of radioactive material out of the warehouse and placed it around Tehran, putting the city’s residents at risk.
The reason Iran still had those facilities even after the 2015 nuclear deal “is because it is not finished with them,” the premier concluded. He called on the IAEA to inspect the warehouse “immediately” before Iran has a chance to clean the site of all nuclear evidence.
However, a statement released by the IAEA at the time rejected the call and said that the organization sends inspectors “only when needed.” After Israel’s revelation of the Iranian nuclear archive in April 2018, the IAEA issued a similar statement indicating that it wouldn’t investigate Israeli evidence.
In September 2017, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano charged that the organization did not have the “tools” to verify the items listed in Section T of the nuclear deal. The section in question governs “activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device.”
[Photo: IAEA Imagebank / Flickr]