Iran's nuclear agency chief disputed an "incorrect" report submitted by the IAEA as tensions between Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog heightened amid stalemate over the nuclear deal.

Mohammad Eslami said the West
Mohammad Eslami said the West "does not want a nuclear Iran," accusing the IAEA chief of "disclosing wrong claims made in the report" to media. (Reuters Archive)

Iran's nuclear agency chief has again hit out at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), terming its latest report on activities at the underground Fordow nuclear facility as "unprofessional".

Mohammad Eslami, in an interview with state TV late on Friday, said the UN nuclear watchdog acted unprofessionally by disclosing confidential information about nuclear activities at Fordow, situated 20 miles northwest of the city of Qom.

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said a letter has been submitted to the IAEA explaining "incorrect issues" raised in the recent report by one of the agency's inspectors following his visit to Fordow.

The UN nuclear watchdog, in a report released on Wednesday, said Iran has significantly modified an interconnection between two centrifuge clusters enriching uranium up to 60 percent purity at Fordow Nuclear Plant without informing the agency.

IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi said changes at the facility were “inconsistent" with the country's obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and undermines the agency's ability to “implement effective safeguards measures” at the site.

Eslami said the West "does not want a nuclear Iran", accusing Grossi of "disclosing wrong claims made in the report" to media.

READ MORE: Nuclear deal parties approach Iran through Qatar to revive talks: Tehran

Heightened tensions

Eslami said Iran has three percent of the world's nuclear capacity but 25 percent of IAEA inspections are carried out in the country, adding that the Western powers "do not want Iran to acquire nuclear technology".

“This behaviour is unprofessional and unacceptable and we hope the agency’s director general stops such practices," he said.

The report came two weeks after an IAEA team inspected the site, in which they detected "two IR-6 centrifuge cascades... were interconnected in a way that was substantially different from the mode of operation declared by Iran to the agency", according to the report.

Last November, Iran announced a decision to ramp up uranium enrichment at the Fordow nuclear facility in response to a resolution passed by the UN watchdog.

At the time, Iran said it began to produce uranium up to 60 percent purity at the facility and that two new centrifuge cascades, IR-2m and IR-4, were reviewed and operated at the Natanz nuclear facility in the central Isfahan province.

Tensions between Tehran and the IAEA have heightened over the nuclear watchdog's probe into "uranium traces" found at three undeclared nuclear sites. Iran has dismissed the probe.

It has also led to a stalemate in indirect talks between Tehran and Washington to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, underway since April 2021.

READ MORE: Iran begins 60% uranium enrichment: State media

Source: AA