This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
The Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) has alleged that recent statements by U.S. and Israeli officials on Iran’s nuclear program are aimed at putting “undue pressure” on the UN’s nuclear watchdog.
“We are witnessing a US-Israeli plot with the support of their affiliated media,” Ambassador Kazem Gharib Abadi said in Vienna on September 11.
The comments come a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Tehran of not fully cooperating with the IAEA, adding that Iran’s behavior “raises questions about possible undeclared nuclear material or activities.”
On September 9, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged that Iran operated a previously undisclosed site aimed at developing nuclear weapons and then destroying it after it was detected.
IAEA acting Director-General Cornel Feruta said the same day that he had reminded Iranian officials during a recent visit to Tehran about the importance of “full and timely” cooperation with UN nuclear inspectors.
“At this stage Iran will continue its cooperation with the agency,” Abadi said, stressing that Tehran had been responding constructively to IAEA questions.
In May last year, the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers and began reimposing crippling sanctions on the country.
In response, Iran has surpassed the limits set in the accord about stockpiles of enriched uranium and enrichment purity in recent months.
Over the weekend, Tehran announced it would use more advanced centrifuges for enriching uranium, which can be used to make fuel for reactors, but also nuclear weapons.
Tehran has always insisted that its nuclear ambitions are merely civilian and not military.
Israel views Iran as its greatest threat.