IAEA facing ‘crisis of credibility’, says IranBy DPA, IANS
Monday, September 20, 2010
VIENNA - Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi Monday questioned the authority of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — in the most recent instance of his country’s increasingly deteriorating relations with the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog.
Speaking on the first day of the IAEA’s annual meeting of member states, Salehi said, “It appears that the agency is suffering from a moral, authority and credibility crisis.”
The head of Iran’s nuclear programme complained about the IAEA’s most recent report, which criticized Iran’s lack of cooperation with the agency’s probe of the country’s nuclear programme.
The IAEA is under the political influence of certain countries, Salehi charged, likely a reference to the United States and its Western allies.
The comments came amid a row over Iran’s repeated blocking of a number of experienced IAEA inspectors.
While Iran insists on its right to object to individual inspectors, the IAEA argues that the country is hampering the work of the international nuclear experts.
Iran’s IAEA envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh last week launched attacks on IAEA chief Yukiya Amano, questioning his impartiality.
While many countries including the US are concerned about a possible secret Iranian nuclear weapons programme, Tehran’s leaders say they have no such aims.