U.N. nuclear inspectors Wednesday visited a military installation from which they had been barred, but an international agency said it appeared Iraq had moved material from the site prior to the tour.
Foreign Minister Ahmed Hussein said the visit took place Wednesday morning after a delay caused by the four-day Muslim holiday Eid Al Adha, which ended Tuesday.The International Atomic Energy Agency said from its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, that its inspectors were allowed to look around after protests.
"However, activities which had been observed from a distance during the first visit had ceased and objects that had been seen had been removed," the agency said in a statement.
Investigators said Tuesday they had identified several more suspected nuclear sites in Iraq, but David Kay, a leader of the team of 18 specialists working with the United Nations, would not specifically what was found or their suspected purpose.
The Iraqi News Agency quoted the foreign minister as saying Wednesday that his nation "categorically denies news reports claiming that Iraq has prevented the U.N. team from inspecting an important site near Baghdad."
"They are fabricated and intended to deliberately distort Iraq's image and its clear and firm stand that cooperation with the U.N. is necessary," Hussein said.
It will take several months for the inspection team to complete its work.