ISNA also quoted Salehi as saying Iran asked the agency to replace the two and that it has accepted the replacements.

“This is our right as well as the right of other members of the agency to choose the inspectors,” Salehi said. “Basically, all member nations select from a list provided by the agency.”

While all member states select inspectors from an official IAEA list, some western nations on the agency’s 35-nation board argue that because Iran has banned more than 40 inspectors over the past four years, a case could be made that Tehran is violating the agency’s so-called Safeguards Agreement.

The agreement is meant to ensure that the IAEA can monitor Iran’s nuclear program without impediments to make sure it is solely for peaceful purposes.