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Iran said to deny IAEA access to nuclear site, 3 months after sabotage blamed on Israel

The alleged Karaj centrifuge parts plant near Karaj, Iran, seen in a photo posted online by Google user Edward Majnoonian, in May 2019. (Screenshot/Google Maps)
The alleged Karaj centrifuge parts plant near Karaj, Iran, seen in a photo posted online by Google user Edward Majnoonian, in May 2019. (Screenshot/Google Maps)

Iran earlier today denied access to UN inspectors who were seeking to visit the Karaj centrifuge assembly site, the Wall Street Journal reports, several months after a sabotage at the facility, which Tehran blamed on Israel.

Citing several unnamed sources, the report says that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors were seeking to replace and fix up cameras at the site as part of a deal struck earlier this month.

Iran is reportedly preparing to send a note to the IAEA explaining that the denial of access was due to safety issues at the site and the ongoing collection of forensic evidence there.

However, the report casts doubt on the response, citing sources saying that Iran has continued some activities at Karaj.

In June, Iran accused Israel of mounting a sabotage attack on the site, which makes components for machines used to enrich uranium. Without disclosing details of the assault, Iranian authorities acknowledged the strike had damaged the building.

Earlier this month, a confidential IAEA report revealed that the nuclear watchdog found one surveillance camera to be destroyed and a second severely damaged after their removal from the centrifuge manufacturing site in Karaj, a city about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Tehran.

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