TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's defense minister on Saturday said there was no need for U.N. nuclear inspectors to pay another visit to the Parchin military site, where the country is suspected of having tested components used in nuclear weapons.
Gen. Hossein Dehghan was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying the IAEA had already been to the site southeast of Tehran and carried out tests there. "Besides, they have accepted that nothing happened in Parchin," he said.
He added that Iran would not make its nuclear scientists available to the inspectors. Tehran has in the past charged the agency with leaking information that led to the assassination of scientists.
Inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog have visited Parchin in the past but want to go back. Iran denies it has ever pursued nuclear weapons at Parchin, insisting it is a conventional military site.
Iran has vowed to cooperate with the IAEA as part of talks with world powers aimed at reaching a lasting agreement on its nuclear program. Western nations have long suspected Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside its civilian program and have imposed crippling sanctions, which Iran now hopes to see lifted in exchange for curbing its nuclear activities.
Iran insists it has never worked on nuclear arms, describing such allegations as based on false intelligence from Israel, as well as the U.S. and its Western allies.
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