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UN Nuclear Inspections Chief Sees No Problems Checking Facilities In Iran

Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaks at a news conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on October 30.

United Nations nuclear inspectors have encountered no problems in checking facilities in Iran to determine whether Tehran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal, the head of the UN's atomic energy agency has said.

"Our inspectors are discharging their responsibilities without problem," International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano told reporters in Abu Dhabi on the sidelines of a conference on nuclear power on October 30.

The United States has pushed the UN agency to be aggressive in inspecting Iranian facilities and has questioned whether the agency was given strong enough authority to access Iranian military sites to determine whether Tehran is complying with curbs on its nuclear activities required under the accord in exchange for sanctions relief.

U.S. President Donald Trump called the accord's inspection regime "weak" in deciding earlier this month not to certify that Iran was complying with the agreement.

"We got weak inspections in exchange for no more than a purely short-term and temporary delay in Iran’s path to nuclear weapons," Trump said on October 13.

But Amano has disputed the administration's claims, saying his inspectors have encountered no obstacles checking facilities in Iran and maintaining that "Iran is subject to the world's most robust nuclear-verification regime."

Amano on October 30 repeated his assessment that Tehran is keeping its commitments under the agreement one day after stating that conclusion after meeting with Iranian leaders in Tehran.

"I requested that Iran...fully implement the nuclear-related commitments. This [was] the main thrust of the meeting in Iran," Amano said. "The IAEA can state that such nuclear-related commitments are being implemented."

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters