Iran has barred two nuclear inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from the country. The move comes following sweeping sanctions from the United Nations Security Council, approved on June 9, meant to deter Iran from developing a nuclear program. Iran says it banned the inspectors for leaking "false" information about the country. The IAEA will be allowed to remain in Iran, however. Here's what happened and why.

  • Retaliation for Sanctions  The Financial Times' Najmeh Bozorgmehr writes, "Barring the inspectors could be Iran’s response to a new round of UN-imposed sanctions passed earlier this month. These further restrict financial transactions and allow inspections of dual-use cargoes which may assist in developing Iran’s nuclear or missile programme. Iran has refused to halt its uranium enrichment programme in spite of four sets of UN sanctions and unilateral restrictions imposed by the US and European states. It has continued to upgrade its nuclear programme."
  • The Escalating Tension Between Iran and IAEA  Reuters' Hossein Jaseb and Sylvia Westall explain, "Ties between Iran and the IAEA have become more strained since Yukiya Amano took over as head of the agency in December. The Japanese diplomat has taken a tougher approach on Iran than his predecessor Mohamed ElBaradei, with the IAEA saying in a February report that Iran could be trying to develop a nuclear-armed missile now, and not just in the past."
  • The Ongoing Fight Over Nuclear Iran  The Associated Press Nasser Karimi paints the larger picture. "The ban is the latest twist in Iran's deepening tussle with the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency and the West over its nuclear program. The United States and its allies warn that Iran's program is geared toward making nuclear weapons. Tehran denies the charge saying its nuclear activities are only for peaceful purposes like power generation," he writes. "Meanwhile, Brazil's foreign minister indicated that his country's active support of Iran in its dispute with the West over its nuclear program was being scaled back after the U.N. Security Council's decision earlier this month for new sanctions."
  • Repeating Saddam's Mistake  The National Iranian American Council sighs, "Iran beginning to repeat mistakes of Saddam Hussein ... barring inspectors is a road to nowhere good. ... Iran finding itself in difficult position of having even its legitimate grievances delegitimized by its other behavior."
  • Who Doesn't Hate Intel-Leaking Officials?  Liberal blogger Steve Hynd quips, "Fair enough. O's cracking down on whistleblowers too." (The New York Times recently reported the Obama administration's hard-line efforts against government leaks.)