Mohammad Davari, AFP
Last updated: 6 September, 2011

Iran offers IAEA full supervision of nuclear sites

Iran on Monday said it was ready to give the International Atomic Energy Agency “full supervision” of its nuclear programme for five years if UN sanctions are lifted, as it alleged a rise in “sabotage” of its controversial work.

“We have proposed that the agency keep Iran’s activities and nuclear programme under full supervision for five years, providing the sanctions are lifted,” the nuclear chief, Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, told ISNA news agency.

Iran is targeted by four sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment amid fears in the West that it seeks to build a nuclear bomb — a charge it vehemently denies.

Abbasi Davani neither said when the offer was made to the IAEA, nor what he meant by “full supervision.”

Much of Iran’s nuclear activities are already under the control of the IAEA, including uranium enrichment — a process which can both produce the fuel for a nuclear reactor and the fissile material for an atomic warhead.

The IAEA said in a confidential report, a copy of which was obtained by AFP on Friday, that it is “increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organisations.”

These included “activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile”, according to the report, which is due to be discussed by the IAEA’s 35-member board of governors at a September 12-16 meeting.

But Abbasi Davani said such allegations are “baseless and fabricated.”

The agency has for years criticised Tehran for refusing to answer a number of questions about its nuclear programme, and for denying access to certain sites, including the heavy water reactor Iran is building in the central city of Arak.

Meanwhile Abbasi Davani, who survived an assassination attempt on November 29 which Iran blamed on arch-foes the United States and Israel, said there had been a rise in Western attempts to sabotage the nuclear programme.

“We have witnessed a rise in acts of sabotage against Iran’s nuclear facilities,” he said. “They continually seek to harm our nuclear facilities through viruses or sales of faulty equipment.”

Tehran has blamed Israel and the United States for the unexplained disappearances of several of its military officials and nuclear scientists in recent years, and for a computer virus attack by the Stuxnet malware in the summer of 2010 against its centrifuges, the uranium enriching device.

Iran says the Arak reactor facility is being completely built by domestic expertise, but Abbasi Davani said sabotage at the site had “slowed” progress there.

He said however that the site — initially expected to become operational by the end of 2009 then delayed to 2012 — was to be equipped “soon,” and estimated its launch for 2013.