Nikki Haley slams Russia over shielding Iran from IAEA inspections

ANI | Updated: Sep 29, 2017 05:17 IST

New York [U.S.A.], September 29 (ANI): The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has slammed Russia over its move to shield Iran from inspections by the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

The inspections were conducted in connection with a specific section of a landmark 2015 deal restricting Iran's nuclear activities.

Iran had agreed to the nuclear deal with six major powers in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

Haley further infuriated Iran by saying the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should widen inspections to include military sites, whereas diplomats are of the view that Russia has been trying to restrict the agency's role by arguing it has no authority to police a broadly worded section of the deal.

"If the Iran nuclear deal is to have any meaning, the parties must have a common understanding of its terms. It appears that some countries are attempting to shield Iran from even more inspections. Without inspections, the Iran deal is an empty promise," Haley said, in a statement, in an apparent response to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano saying that major powers needed to clarify the disputed section of the deal, which relates to technology that could be used to develop an atom bomb.

The section bans "activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device." It lists examples such as using computer models that simulate a nuclear bomb, or designing multi-point, explosive detonation systems.

The provision, known as Section T, however, makes no mention of the IAEA or specifics of how it will be verified. Russia, thereby, says the IAEA has no authority over it. But Western powers and the agency disagree.

President Donald Trump had earlier called the Iran nuclear deal - reached by predecessor Barack Obama - "an embarrassment to the United States." (ANI)