Iran invites UN nuclear inspector to Arak facility

29 November 2013 | 18:33 Code : 1925329 Latest Headlines

Iran has invited UN inspectors to visit the Arak heavy-water production facility next month, the first step under the Geneva deal to clarify concerns about Tehran's nuclear programme.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, also said the IAEA was looking into how the agreement to curb Tehran's nuclear activity could be "put into practice" concerning the UN agency's role in verifying the deal.

The IAEA will expand its monitoring of Iran's uranium enrichment sites and other facilities under the interim accord, reached after talks in Switzerland between Iran and the US, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China.

"This will include the implications for funding and staffing," Amano told the agency's 35-nation governing board, according to a copy of his speech. "This analysis will take some time. I will consult the board as soon as possible when it has been completed."

The IAEA's visit on 8 December to the heavy water production plant near the town of Arak is part of a separate agreement signed earlier this month between the Vienna-based agency and Iran.

The IAEA has not been allowed to visit the site for almost two years, despite repeated requests. But Iran agreed on 11 November 11 to grant access to this facility as well as to a uranium mine within three months.

The Arak facility produces heavy water intended for use in a nearby research reactor that is under construction. The west is concerned that the reactor, which Iran has said could start up next year, could yield plutonium for bombs once it is operational. Iran says it will produce medical istopes.

Iran has agreed to halt installation work at the reactor and to stop making fuel for it.

tags: iran

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