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publish date : 24 Wednesday August 2011      13:14

Iran Allows IAEA Access To Nuclear Sites

 RTTNews - Iran has allowed a team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its nuclear installations, Tehran's envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog was quoted as saying in reports on Tuesday.

Ali-Asghar Soltanieh told the semi-official Fars news agency that the team led by IAEA nuclear safeguards division head Herman Nackaerts had last week visited several of the country's nuclear sites. They included the Russian-built Bushehr power plant in southern Iran, the newly-built uranium enrichment site at Fordo, the heavy water research center in Arak as well as Isfahan and Natanz uranium conversion and enrichment sites in central Iran.

Inspection of the IAEA fact-finding mission took place even as Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. Lavrov has been engaged in efforts to resume talks aimed at resolving the row over Iran's nuclear program.

The Russian leader is believed to have asked Salehi to take the initiative for resuming nuclear talks with 5+1 nations-- United States, Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany-- in line with Moscow's plan for a gradual resumption of negotiations.

Tehran had all along maintained that the only way to hold constructive talks on the nuclear issue is for the U.S.-led West to acknowledge its sovereign right to peaceful nuclear energy, including uranium enrichment.

Despite Iranian claims, Washington and its allies believe that Iran's nuclear program is aimed at building a nuclear weapon secretly. Iran has also insisted on its right to nuclear energy as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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