Iran bans Belgian nuclear inspector
10 July 2006, BRUSSELS —The chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sidelined the chief inspector of Iran's nuclear programme, Belgian Chris Charlier.
10 July 2006
BRUSSELS —The chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sidelined the chief inspector of Iran's nuclear programme, Belgian Chris Charlier.
The decision by IAEA chief, Mohammed ElBaradei, was made under great pressure from Iran.
"Since April, I haven't been allowed to travel to Iran. Since April, I have had no more contact with the Iranian nuclear dossier," Charlier told German newspaper 'Welt am Sonntag'.
A spokesman for the Vienna-based IAEA has confirmed that Iran had demanded the replacement of the Belgian chief inspector.
Rumours have been circulating in Vienna for weeks that Iran has been hindering the inspector's work.
Charlier was also quoted as saying he believed that Iran was probably still hiding things from the atomic energy agency: "It is very probable that Iran is doing things in the nuclear domain that to this day we have no idea about".
The IAEA has been inspecting Iran's nuclear program since 2003.
Although it has found no hard evidence that Iran is working on nuclear weapons, it has uncovered previously concealed activities linked to uranium enrichment, a process of purifying fuel for nuclear power plants or weapons.
It was not immediately clear why Charlier was banned from Iran, but he had complained last year about the lack of freedom UN inspectors face in the country.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news