Exclusive: Iran briefly held IAEA inspector, seized travel documents - diplomats

Exclusive: Iran briefly held IAEA inspector, seized travel documents - diplomats
An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger -
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VIENNA/PARIS (Reuters) – Iran briefly held an inspector working for the U.N. nuclear watchdog in the Islamic Republic and seized her travel documents, diplomats familiar with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s work said on Wednesday, some of whom described it as harassment.

The issue is due to be discussed at a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors on Thursday that was convened at short notice to discuss “two safeguards matters” not specified in the agenda.

Three diplomats familiar with the agency’s work said the female inspector had her travel documents taken and two said she was briefly held while working in Iran.

One of the diplomats said the incident occurred at Iran’s enrichment site at Natanz last week. Another one also said the incident took place at Natanz.

The IAEA and Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA declined to comment.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy and John Irish, Editing by William Maclean)

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