Iran Blocks UN From Visiting Nuclear Sites

( – Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) claims the city of Tehran is making his job more difficult. Grossi’s job, and the job of the IAEA, is to monitor Iran’s nuclear program. Iran has blocked at least one third of experienced IAEA inspectors from being allowed to monitor the nuclear facilities. Grossi says Tehran’s actions are an “unnecessary blow” to the relationship between Iran and the IAEA, which was already strained.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry claims to have made the decision to block the inspectors due to the United States, Britian, France, and Germany attempting to politicize the IAEA and misuse the agency “for their own political purposes”.

Iran insists their nuclear program is “peaceful”, but many Western nations have long suspected that Iran eventually wants to develop a nuclear weapon. Grossi has said that Tehran has enough enriched uranium for “several” nuclear bombs if they were to decide to make them. Grossi claims Tehran began limiting access to the most experienced inspectors over one year ago, effectively barring them from determining how much progress, if any, is being made towards making nuclear weapons.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said in a statement on Saturday, September 16th that he is not surprised by Iran’s actions and that this only proves that Iran has been in violation of policy all along and does indeed intent to develop nuclear weapons. He says Israel will do “everything needed” to defend against this threat. The Prime Minister was scheduled to travel to the United States the next day to address the UN General Assembly where he has previously given warnings about Iran’s advancing nuclear program.

In a report by the IAEA, it was noted that Iran’s stockpile of uranium is 18 times the amount agreed upon in 2015. A separate report from early September indicated that Tehran had slowed the pace of enriching uranium to near weapons-grade quality. This was perceived as an attempt by Tehran to ease tension between Iran and the U.S.

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