Security guards at one of Iran’s nuclear sites physically harassed several female UN atomic agency inspectors over the past few months, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
The harassment took place at Iran’s main nuclear facility, Natanz. They involved “included inappropriate touching of female inspectors by male security guards and orders to remove some clothing,” the WSJ said citing diplomats.
There have been at least four separate incidents and up to seven, the report said.
The US demanded Iran take action to stop the guards’ behavior, according to a paper circulated among the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) members, seen by the WSJ.
“Harassment of IAEA inspectors is absolutely unacceptable, and we strongly urge you to make clear in your national statement at the Board meeting that such conduct is deplorable and must end immediately, and that the Board should take appropriate action if further incidents are reported,” the US paper said.
The report comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear activities and its lack of cooperation with the IAEA.
On Saturday, Iran said it refused to give the IAEA access to surveillance cameras at Iranian nuclear facilities.
According to the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Iran has been undermining verification and monitoring activities through halting the implementation of its nuclear commitments.
Meanwhile, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi insisted that his country was being “transparent”.
The WSJ report also coincides with the stalled nuclear talks between Iran and the US to revive the abandoned 2015 deal. Raisi has yet to set a date for the negotiations to resume.