TEHRAN, Iran – Iran said Friday it would continue to limit the operations of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, setting the stage for confrontation with the world body.
The refusal announced by Iran's nuclear chief on state television indicated a hardening of attitude toward the International Atomic Energy Agency (search).
In its nightly news bulletin Friday, Iranian television said the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Gholamreza Aghazadeh (search), would not permit environmental sampling at "some locations." It did not name the locations.
"We've had no problem concerning environmental samples, but we've been telling the IAEA that this location is not a nuclear location, so that if you want take environmental samples, this is outside the framework of the protocol," Aghazadeh said. He did not identify the location.
"If we accept to operate outside the framework of the protocol, it will have no ending ... and tomorrow ten other locations may be named," said Aghazadeh, who was shown speaking to a state television reporter.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei (search) has asked Iran to permit monitors to take environmental samples at a location where the country has allegedly enriched uranium — a step in producing nuclear weapons.
Inspectors were turned away from a site at Kalaye, west Tehran, earlier this month after they came to take environmental samples. The Iranians have allegedly tested centrifuges at the Kalaye site.
On Thursday, the IAEA challenged Iran to prove it does not have a nuclear weapons program, but rejected Washington's effort to bring the matter before the U.N. Security Council.