Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi has accused the UN atomic watchdog of including "spies" among the inspectors it sends to Iran to monitor the nation's controversial nuclear program.
State television's website quotes him as saying "the International Atomic Energy Agency has dispatched spies of foreign agencies among its inspectors and thus should be held accountable for this move."
The statement comes as Iran is due to participate in talks in Geneva next week about its nuclear program with officials from the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany.
Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeid Jalili said on state television on December 4 that "Iran's [nuclear] rights are nonnegotiable and therefore, like in the previous round of talks, this issue cannot be a subject of the talks."
Meanwhile, Iran has said it will never use force against its Muslim neighbours.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told a Middle East security conference in Bahrain: "We have never used our force against our neighbours and never will because our neighbours are Muslims."
He spoke after U.S. Secretary of State Clinton said before launching the same conference on December 3 that U.S. concerns over Tehran's suspected atomic weapons program are shared by Iran's neighbors.