IAEA inspector arrested in Iran
According to several diplomats, an International Atomic Energy Agency inspector was arrested in Natanz nuclear plant for a short period of time and her travel documents were confiscated.
This action which some diplomats referred to as harassment occurs at a time when tension between the Islamic Republic and the West is rising as Iran takes the fourth step in stepping away from the nuclear deal.
Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed the news of the arrest and claimed that the reason was concerns over suspicious substances and it is normal for all inspectors and their equipment to be searched before entering nuclear sites.
The incident was believed to be the first of its kind since a 2015 nuclear deal. One European diplomat says: “There is a real concern that it will harm future inspections.”
The issue of the inspector’s arrest will be discussed in IAEA’s Board of Governors meeting on Thursday. One Western official said: "The agency wants to show how seriously they are taking this. It is a potentially damaging precedent."
There are currently 130 to 150 IAEA inspectors in Iran.
Another issue of discussion on Thursday will be Iran’s lack of cooperation in offering explanations regarding the Uranium found at a site near Tehran.