Iran: UN nuclear inspector tested positive for explosives
Iran claimed Thursday that the United Nations inspector it prevented from entering a nuclear site last week tested positive for explosives, The Associated Press reported.
Iranian representative Kazem Gharib Abadi reportedly said a detector for explosive nitrates went off when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspector attempted to enter the Natanz facility. He added that the inspector went to the bathroom while officials looked for a female employee to search her, and did not test positive when she returned.
The Iranian representative said he hopes tests completed by Iran and the IAEA will bring more light to the situation, according to the AP, which noted that authorities took samples from the bathroom and seized her handbag.
“Needless to say that Iran, like all other members of the agency, cannot condone any behavior or action which may be against the safety and security of its nuclear installations, especially … considering the past sabotage attempts in its nuclear facilities,” Abadi said, the news service reported.
The IAEA did not immediately return requests for comment.
Initial reports that Iran had detained an inspector circulated earlier this week in what appeared to be the first such incident since Tehran signed the nuclear deal with the U.S. and other nations in 2015.
Jackie Wolcott, the U.S. representative to the IAEA, had previously said Iran’s actions were “outrageous provocation.”
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have been high after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden Trump’s 2016 team sounds alarm as Democrats make gains Whistleblower lawyer sends cease and desist to White House over Trump’s attacks MORE left the Obama-era nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
The Associated Press also reported Iran injected uranium gas into another nuclear complex after midnight Thursday, drawing condemnation from Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump encounters GOP resistance to investigating Hunter Biden GOP senators press State Department for Hunter Biden, Burisma records State Dept. to provide legal aid to employees testifying in impeachment inquiry MORE for Tehran’s latest step away from the deal.
“Iran’s expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout,” Pompeo said in a statement. “It is now time for all nations to reject this regime’s nuclear extortion and take serious steps to increase pressure.”
–This report was updated at 1:08 p.m.