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Iran has nothing to hide, says Tehran's IAEA ambassador

Iranian Presidency, AFP | Iran's President Hassan Rouhani meeting with Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic advisor to the French president, in the capital Tehran on July 10, 2019

Iran dismissed US claims that it secretly enriches uranium after an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Wednesday, underscoring that all of its nuclear activities are monitored by the UN nuclear watchdog.

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All of Iran's nuclear activities are monitored by the UN nuclear watchdog policing its nuclear deal with major powers, its ambassador to the watchdog said on Wednesday, following claims by US President Donald Trump that the country was secretly enriching uranium.

"We have nothing to hide," Kazem Gharib Abadi told reporters after an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) 35-nation Board of Governors called by the United States.

Gharib Abadi said the current impasse was the result of the Washington's "outlaw behaviour" and condemned what he called the "sadistic tendency" of the US to impose sanctions on Iran.

Washington used the meeting to accuse Iran of nuclear "extortion" after it inched past the deal’s limit on enrichment levels over the past week, while still offering to hold talks with Tehran.

"There is no way to read this as anything other than a crude and transparent attempt to extort payments from the international community," US Ambassador to International Organisations in Vienna Jackie Wolcott told reporters

Iran says it is reacting to harsh US economic sanctions imposed since Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018 and says all its steps were reversible if Washington returned to the agreement.

Trump warned on Wednesday that sanctions would soon be "increased substantially". Trump's sanctions warning – which he delivered via Twitter – came as French President Emmanuel Macron's top diplomatic adviser met with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, winding up a day of talks in Tehran aimed at saving a landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

The 2015 accord between Iran and world powers promised sanctions relief, economic benefits and an end to international isolation in return for stringent curbs on the Islamic republic's nuclear programme.

Tehran says it has lost patience with perceived inaction by European countries more than a year after Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the agreement and started to impose punishing sanctions.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have soared in recent weeks, with the United States blaming Iran for multiple attacks on tanker ships, and the Islamic republic shooting down an American surveillance drone.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AFP)

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