Iran Nuclear NewsIAEA team arrives in Iran for talks

IAEA team arrives in Iran for talks

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AP: A delegation from the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog arrived in Tehran on Monday to discuss future inspections of Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Associated Press

By NASSER KARIMI

Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – A delegation from the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog arrived in Tehran on Monday to discuss future inspections of Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Monday’s talks are part of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to investigate Western fears that Tehran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to produce atomic weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying its program is solely geared toward generating electricity.

“Negotiations between the four-member technical delegation of the IAEA, which arrived today, and Iranian nuclear authorities will begin in the next few hours,” IRNA quoted an unnamed official as saying.

The IAEA officials, led by Michiro Hosaya, will meet with a group headed by Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran’s atomic energy organization, according to the IRNA.

The talks, scheduled to last through Thursday, will plan future inspections of Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz, the report added.

Iran has rejected two U.N. Security Council resolutions requiring it to halt its uranium enrichment activities, saying it will never give up its right to produce nuclear fuel under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Members of the U.N. Security Council are preparing to debate a third set of sanctions against Iran in response to its refusal to suspend enrichment, which can produce fuel for civilian energy or fissile material for a bomb.

But IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in July that Iran had scaled back its enrichment program, suggesting a new willingness by the government to resolve the international deadlock over its nuclear stance.

Last week, Iran allowed IAEA representatives to visit a nuclear reactor being built in the central town of Arak that had been off-limits since April.

State-run television said Monday that the current delegation was not expected to conduct any inspections during its visit.

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