President Raisi says Iran has ‘no problem’ with IAEA inspections

Iran has no issue with the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s inspection of its nuclear sites, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Wednesday, days after Tehran barred multiple inspectors assigned to the country.

Raisi added that “trustworthy” inspectors could continue their work in Iran during a news conference on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

“There is no problem with the principle of inspection and the Islamic Republic will not prevent the inspection. But if some elements of the inspectors are distrusted, naturally it will be returned to them. But other inspectors that are trusted, or not lacking in trust, can do their inspection,” Raisi said.

“The position of the those (Western countries) was not a correct position. The Islamic Republic does not want to say there should be no inspection. So far there has been good cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the (International) Atomic Energy Agency,” he added.

Iran’s move was a response to a call led by the United States, Britain, France, and Germany at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors earlier this month for Tehran to cooperate immediately with the agency on issues including explaining uranium traces found at undeclared sites.

U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi has condemned Iran’s “disproportionate and unprecedented” move.

Tehran’s move, known as “de-designation” of inspectors, is allowed; member states can generally veto inspectors assigned to visit their nuclear facilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and each country’s safeguards agreement with the agency governing inspections.