Tehran: Iran turned off more than two dozen surveillance devices Wednesday used by U.N. inspectors to monitor the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment, further escalating the crisis over its atomic program as Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers remains in tatters.
The move appeared to be a new pressure technique just before the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors, meeting in Vienna, approved a resolution to criticize Iran put forward by Western nations. The censure deals with what the watchdog refers to as Iran’s failure to provide “credible information” over nuclear material found at undeclared sites across the country.
But Iran’s latest move, announced by state television, makes it even more difficult for inspectors to monitor Tehran’s nuclear program. Nonproliferation experts have warned Iran now has enough uranium enriched close to weapons-grade levels to pursue an atomic bomb if it chooses to do so.
The Vienna-based IAEA declined to immediately comment. An IAEA report released late Wednesday identified the Iranian sites as Marivan, near the city of Abadeh, and Turquzabad and Varamin just outside of Tehran. The report said Iran alleged the traces came from “sabotage” by a third country, something the IAEA said Tehran offered no evidence to support.