Iran has agreed to allow inspections of its military sites by United Nations officials, saying it will grant them “managed access” relating to its contentious nuclear program, officials said on Sunday.
"Iran has agreed to grant managed access to military sites," Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqhchi reportedly said on state television after he and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif attended a heated session of parliament, the Associated Press reported. The comments from Araqhchi seemingly contradict those made days earlier by the nation’s religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
They say new things in negotiations;we already said that we won't allow foreigners to carry out any inspections on military sites #IranTalks
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) May 20, 2015
Lawmaker Ahmad Shoohani, who attended the meeting, also reportedly said that restricted inspections would be allowed under strictly controlled circumstances. “Managed access will be in a shape where UN inspectors will have the possibility of taking environmental samples from the vicinity of military sites,” Shoohani said, according to the AP.
Also on Sunday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called for national unity in order to move toward ending the crippling international sanctions that have weakened the country’s economy.
"We must join hands and free our economic territory which was unjustly occupied by the countries of the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany) and the UN Security Council ... through use of diplomatic and political tools," Rouhani said in a televised speech, according to Agence France-Presse.
Tehran is currently locked in negotiations with six world powers over an agreement on its nuclear program before a June 30 deadline. Western powers fear that Iran’s program is being used to pursue nuclear weapons, which Tehran denies.
Araqhchi also reportedly said on Sunday that Iran rejected requests that its nuclear scientists be interviewed. "Americans are after interviewing our nuclear scientists. We didn't accept it," he told state TV, according to the AP.