Iran raps IAEA's Fukushima response
Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh
Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh has criticized the regulatory authority over its handling of Japan's nuclear crisis.
“The poor and slow response by the [IAEA] secretariat, and particularly the director general, with regards to the Fukushima nuclear crisis is really disappointing,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA on Wednesday.
Soltanieh said IAEA's Director General Yukiya Amano "was expected to immediately collect reliable data from Japanese authorities, evaluate the credibility of the information, and relay it to other member states."
On March 11, a nine-magnitude earthquake, off the northeast coast of Japan's main island, unleashed a devastating tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks.
The incident led to fires, explosions or partial meltdowns of six reactor units in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after it knocked out power to the facility's cooling systems.
The destruction has also been followed by a radiation leak and nuclear fallout has been reported in many places across the world.
Addressing an IAEA meeting, Soltanieh said the world deserves to receive quick and reliable information about the level of contamination.
According to the Iranian diplomat, neither Japan nor the IAEA have been following the two conventions adopted after the Chernobyl Accident.
He highlighted the significance of observing safety standards in nuclear sites, referring to the share of nuclear energy in supplying power demands across the globe as a clean and durable source of energy.
“Over 64 billion watts of electricity has been produced in nuclear plants all over the globe in the past half century and over 440 nuclear power plants in 30 countries account for almost 16 percent of the world's total power supply,” he stated.
Soltanieh also criticized the IAEA for barring Iranian experts from nuclear seminars due to UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
“I would like to remind the deputy director general in safety affairs that even the Security Council's resolutions, which I believe lack legal grounds, make an exception in case of nuclear safety,” he said.
Soltanieh emphasized that consequences of potential radioactive crises “know no international borders” and thus called for the agency's cooperation with all member states, free of discrimination and political considerations.