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'Deeply concerned' over Iran's decision to deny accreditation to IAEA inspector: EU

General view of the water facility at Arak south-west of the Iranian capital Tehran. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Vienna, Austria Nov 07, 2019, 05.45 PM (IST)

The European Union(EU) today expressed concern over Iran's reported decision to deny accreditation of a UN nuclear inspector.

In a statement, Iran's Atomic Energy organisation said while entering the gate an "alarm" was triggered which led officials to believe the inspector was carrying a "suspect product".

As a result, she was denied entry, the agency added. "Iran's representative to the IAEA will present a full report on the matter," it said.

However, the Iranian atomic agency did not specify if anything suspicious was found on the inspector. The agency added she was sent back to IAEA in Vienna.

Meanwhile, the EU said it had "full confidence in the inspectorate's professionalism and impartiality."

"The EU is deeply concerned by the incident concerning one IAEA inspector. We understand that the incident was resolved and call upon Iran to ensure that no such incidents occur in the future," it said.

The incident comes even as the Rouhani government had declared that it had resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow plant south of Tehran on Thursday. On Wednesday, Iran had announced that it had resumed enrichment at the Fordow plant from midnight (2030 GMT Wednesday), a move which was seen as a setback for the nuclear deal.

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Russian foreign minister Lavrov had expressed concern about Iran's announcement.

"They are demanding that Iran fulfil all (obligations) without exception but are not giving anything in return," Lavrov said.

The Kremlin has previously called sanctions against Iran "unprecedented and illegal".

"All these activities have been carried out under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency," the Iranian nuclear organisation said.

French President Emmanuel Macron had said Iran had made a "grave" decision as it took steps against the  2015 nuclear agreement. Macron added that it was a "profound change" from Iran's earlier stand.

"A return to normal can only take place if the United States and Iran agree to reopen a sort of trust agenda and dialogue," Macron added. 

Iran had earlier complained of  "undue pressure" from the US and Israel over its nuclear programme after the IAEA had asked for promt reply to the agency's questions.