The UN nuclear watchdog has protested to the US government over a report on Iran's nuclear program, calling it "erroneous" and "misleading." In a letter leaked to reporters the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said a congressional report contained "serious distortions" of the agency's own findings on Iran's nuclear activity.
The BBC reported that the IAEA also took "strong exception" to claims made over removal of a senior safeguards inspector. The IAEA said the letter was sent to the American government to "set the record straight on the facts." "This is a matter of the integrity of the IAEA and its inspectors," spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said in a statement.
The letter, signed by Vilmos Cserveny, a senior IAEA director was sent to Peter Hoekstra, head of the House of Representatives' Select Committee on Intelligence. The letter said an August 23 report by the committee was wrong to say that Iran had enriched uranium to weapons-grade level, when the IAEA had found only small quantities of enrichment at far lower levels.
The letter also said the IAEA took "strong exception to the incorrect and misleading assertion" that the agency removed senior safeguards inspector Chris Charlier for "allegedly raising concerns about Iranian deception" over its program. The report contained an "outrageous and dishonest suggestion" that Charlier was removed for not adhering to an alleged IAEA policy barring its "officials from telling the whole truth" about Iran. The letter said Charlier was removed at Tehran's request.