The International Atomic Energy Agency will “never politicize” its work in Iran, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog says , insisting after Israel’s prime minister accused it of capitulating to Iranian pressure that his agency has been “very fair but firm.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments came after a confidential report from the IAEA last week said that its investigators had closed their investigation of traces of man-made uranium found at Marivan, near the city of Abadeh, about 525 kilometers (325 miles) southeast of Tehran.
Analysts had repeatedly linked Marivan to a possible secret Iranian military nuclear program and accused Iran of conducting high-explosives tests there in the early 2000s.
“Iran is continuing to lie to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The agency’s capitulation to Iranian pressure is a black stain on its record,” Netanyahu told his cabinet in televised remarks yesterday.
“If the IAEA becomes a political organization, then its oversight activity in Iran is without significance, as will be its reports on Iran’s nuclear activity,” Netanyahu said.
Asked today about that criticism, IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi says that his agency’s work is “neutral, it is impartial, it is technical.”
“We will always say things as they are,” Grossi tells reporters on the first day of a regular meeting in Vienna of the IAEA board of governors.
Grossi adds that he would “never enter into a polemic” with the head of government of a member of the IAEA. “We never politicize. We have our standards and apply them always,” he said.
“The politicization is in the eye of the beholder,” Grossi added.