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Iran Criticizes IAEA Snap Inspection Demand

FILE - Behrouz Kamalvandi speaks during a press conference.
FILE - Behrouz Kamalvandi speaks during a press conference.

An Iranian official criticized the U.N. atomic agency chief for demanding snap inspections of Iran's nuclear sites, saying such a demand stands in the way of Tehran and world powers reaching a deal on the country's controversial nuclear program.

The so-called P5+1 group - Britain, China, France, Russia, the U.S. and Germany - faces an end-of-the-month deadline to reach a final nuclear deal with Iran.

Iran's nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi was quoted Tuesday on Iranian state TV's website as saying that snap inspections are "illegal." He did not elaborate.

Kamalvandi was responding to the demand earlier this month by Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that Tehran agree to the inspections.

In an exclusive interview with VOA's Persian service, Amano said he was confident that Iran and the P5 +1 would be able to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement before the deadline. Asked about concerns that the IAEA lacks the necessary tools and authority to verify Tehran's nuclear program, Amano said it was too early to comment but that he believes "there is a solution for every difficult problem."

The IAEA suspects that Tehran has worked on nuclear arms in the past.

VOA Persian Service's NEgar Mohammadi contributed to this report, some material for this report came from AP

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