Iran Nuclear NewsUN nuclear official to ask Iranians to clarify technical...

UN nuclear official to ask Iranians to clarify technical issues

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Bloomberg: The United Nations nuclear agency will ask Iranian officials about technical aspects of their work with uranium, under an agreement in which Iran pledged to answer questions previously posed by UN inspectors. By Ladane Nasseri

Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) — The United Nations nuclear agency will ask Iranian officials about technical aspects of their work with uranium, under an agreement in which Iran pledged to answer questions previously posed by UN inspectors.

The top inspector, International Atomic Energy Agency Deputy Director-General Olli Heinonen, is scheduled to arrive in Tehran today for the talks, Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency today. The discussions will begin tomorrow and last as long as three days, Soltanieh said.

Iran agreed in August to clear up questions about its past nuclear activities. The U.S. accuses Iran of using nuclear-energy development to disguise a weapons program, an allegation the Islamic Republic denies.

The IAEA has said inspectors have been trying to determine the source of Iran’s uranium-enrichment technology, the origin of blueprints with some details of a nuclear warhead, and whether experiments with plutonium were part of an arms program.

Uranium enriched to about 5 percent can be used to fuel reactors, while at 90 percent the material can form the core of a bomb.

Heinonen and Iranian officials “will discuss issues related to P1 and P2 centrifuges,” Soltanieh said.

P2 centrifuges are more advanced than P1s and allow faster enrichment. Iran uses P1 centrifuges at its Natanz facility. It has designs for P2 centrifuges, though the extent of Iran’s development of the more advanced centrifuges isn’t clear.

The Islamic Republic, which is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has been under international sanctions since December for defying UN orders to suspend enrichment.

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