TEHERAN (AFP) – Iran has agreed to let the UN atomic watchdog replace damaged cameras at the TESA nuclear complex in Karaj, west of Teheran, news agencies in the Islamic republic said on Wednesday (Dec 15).
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been seeking to replace the devices which Iran says were damaged in a June attack it blames on Israel.
“In a gesture of goodwill, Iran is allowing the IAEA to install new cameras to replace those damaged in a sabotage operation” against the Karaj nuclear site, said the Nour news agency, considered close to Iran’s National Security Council.
“This is a voluntary action by Iran to end misunderstandings in its relations with the IAEA,” it said.
“Due to the completion of the safety investigation of the damaged cameras, as well as the agency’s decision to condemn the sabotage in the TESA complex and to accept the technical inspection of the cameras by Iranian experts before their installation, Iran has authorised the agency to replace the damaged cameras with new ones,” it added.
The development was also reported by other Iranian news agencies.
Iran accuses its arch foe Israel of being behind a “sabotage” attack on the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop on June 23.
At the time, it had said it thwarted the attack on the building without identifying the nature of the incident.
Until Wednesday, Iran had turned down the IAEA’s requests to replace the cameras.
Negotiations resumed on Thursday last week to try to revive a 2015 deal between Iran and world powers, which the United States withdrew from under former president Donald Trump in 2018.
Iran says it only wants to develop a civilian capability, but Western powers say its stockpile of enriched uranium goes well beyond that and could be used to develop a nuclear weapon.
The Islamic republic has always denied wanting a nuclear arsenal.