Iran urges IAEA to drop 'baseless accusations'
According to Iranian officials, the issue has poisoned relations between the IAEA and the Islamic republic, which considers the matter "political in nature, and which should not be used as a pretext to punish Iran."
Iran's top diplomat Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian demanded, on Thursday, that the UN nuclear watchdog drop the issue of what the Western parties claim to be 'undeclared sites', as momentum builds to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.
In June, the IAEA's board of governors adopted a resolution censuring Iran for failing to adequately explain the previous discovery of traces of enriched uranium at three sites "not declared by Tehran" as having hosted nuclear activities.
"We are very serious about safeguard issues, and do not want to allow some of the IAEA's baseless accusations to remain," Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, state news agency IRNA reported.
The issue has poisoned relations between the IAEA and the Islamic republic, which considers the matter "political in nature, and which should not be used as a pretext to punish Iran", an Iranian diplomat said, quoted by IRNA.
The comments come a day after the US responded to Iran's proposals on reviving the landmark agreement trashed by former US president Donald Trump.
"We are in the process of examining the response of the Americans," Amir-Abdollahian said.
Just weeks after the deal looked dead, the EU put forward on August 8 what it called a final text to restore the agreement, in which Iran would see sanctions relief and be able to sell its oil again in return for severe limits on its nuclear program.
Iran came back last week with a series of proposed changes, to which the US formally responded on Wednesday, a day after Tehran accused the US of spreading false information about its nuclear activities.
The 2015 agreement between Iran and six world powers -- the UK, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the US -- gave the Islamic republic sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
The JCPOA deal was designed by world powers to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
Earlier this week, a senior US official claimed that Iran had lifted its block on certain IAEA inspections.
Asked about the foreign minister's remarks, State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said Thursday that the US has insisted to Iran "in public and in private" that it answer the IAEA.
"We've also been clear that we do not believe there should be any conditionality between reimplementation of the JCPOA and the investigations related to Iran's legal obligations," Patel told reporters.