Ramin Mehmanparast

Iran says there is no technical validity to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s musings that Iran could “clean up” evidence of alleged nuclear activity at the Parchin military base.

Ramin Mehmanparast, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, commented today about IAEA chief Yukiya Amano’s recent statements about the Parchin facilities, saying: “Anyone familiar with nuclear technology would know that if someone is talking about cleaning up traces of nuclear activity, then their statements are insignificant.”

Mehmanparast added: “If nuclear military activities are being carried out in an area, the traces can by no means be cleaned up, and their illogical statements are merely fabricating controversy.”

He went on to add: “The Parchin facility is engaged in conventional military activities.”

Western diplomats told the Associated Press on March 7 that satellite pictures of the Parchin military base show trucks and bulldozers, which are probably engaged in removing radioactive material left from the testing of nuclear weapons.

Amano picked up on those statements on March 9, telling Reuters that the IAEA has received intelligence about certain activities going on in Parchin and that the Islamic Republic may be trying to clean up the area before IAEA inspectors pay a visit.

He added, however, that this claim cannot be verified without close examination of the Parchin base.

The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry went on to add that requests to visit the Parchin facility have been made previously, and the site has already been visited twice before.

“Iran does not oppose inspection of the facilities but we want all the activities that are being carried out between Iran and the IAEA to be set in an agreed-upon framework,” Mehmanparast said.

He also added that the IAEA delegation should have shown “greater patience” and stayed longer, in which case they would have been allowed to visit the Parchin facility in the wake of recent agreements.

The IAEA delegation travelled to Iran for the second time in the past month on February 20 to clear up concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear activities. On this occasion they left Iran after two days, after being refused a visit to Parchin.

Western powers are concerned that Iran may be developing nuclear weapons, while Iran insists that its nuclear activities are peaceful and it has no intention of building nuclear weapons.