TEHRAN, Iran—Iran’s nuclear chief on Thursday expressed displeasure over a report issued this week on its nuclear program by the U.N. atomic agency, which included information on how less centrifuges were functioning than previously believed.
The semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s nuclear department, as saying the International Atomic Energy Agency should just inspect the nuclear facilities and not give out any details like “how many kilograms of uranium or how many centrifuges we have.”
Iran has repeatedly accused the agency’s inspectors of leaking information found during their inspections to the U.S. and its allies.
Earlier this week a report by agency head Yukiya Amano said inspectors found that centrifuges at the facility in central Iranian town of Natanz were not operating during a Nov. 16 visit.
Centrifuges enrich uranium into fuel to power nuclear plants but if enriched to much higher levels, the uranium can be used as the material for an atomic bomb.
In the report, Amano said Iran had not provided the necessary cooperation to show that all nuclear material in the country was involved in peaceful activities only.
Salehi, also a vice-president to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said a demand by the agency to inspect Iran’s heavy water nuclear facilities in central Iranian city of Arak was not part of the agreement.
“The agency cannot make any demand beyond the safeguards agreement,” he said, explaining that the heavy water reactor is covered under an additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty of which Iran is not a member.
Amano’s report called on Tehran to implement the additional protocol to allow for more comprehensive inspections of the nation’s nuclear program. Iran stopped implementation of the protocol in 2007.
The remarks came ahead of possible talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.S. Security Council plus Germany later in December.
The West suspects Iran is pursuing atomic weapons under cover of its nuclear power program. Iran denies the charge.