AFP: UN atomic watchdog inspectors are due in Iran soon to remove the seals on nuclear research centres, the Iranian student news agency ISNA quoted an official as saying on Friday. TEHRAN, Jan 6 (AFP) – UN atomic watchdog inspectors are due in Iran soon to remove the seals on nuclear research centres, the Iranian student news agency ISNA quoted an official as saying on Friday.
“The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors will go to Iran at the start of the week (beginning Saturday) to take the seals off nuclear research centres,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying.
“Research into nuclear fuel is different to the enrichment of uranium,” the official added.
Tehran revealed on Tuesday plans to resume atomic fuel research which was suspended two years ago.
It has described the plan as a “program for peaceful nuclear energy” which will re-start on Monday.
But the move has prompted a warning by the United States, which fears Iran’s civil nuclear program could provide cover for developing a nuclear bomb.
Tehran denies the accusation, insisting the program is designed solely to meet its electricity needs.
“Iran’s new activities in research will be carried out under the supervision of the IAEA inspectors,” ISNA quoted Hossein Entezami, spokesman for the Supreme Council of National Security in charge of nuclear issues, as saying.
“Insofar as the suspension of Iranian nuclear activities was voluntary and had no juridical obligation… Iran has decided to resume its research activities,” Entezami said.
He added that all the country’s nuclear installations were being monitored by IAEA cameras.
Talks at the Vienna-based UN atomic agency on Iran’s nuclear program failed to get off the ground on Thursday when Tehran’s delegation abruptly returned home.
IAEA director-general Mohamed ElBaradei said on Tuesday that the IAEA board wanted Iran to refrain from all activities linked to uranium enrichment “as a key confidence-building measure.”
Berlin and Paris have also issued warnings, ahead of “exploratory” talks between Iran and the EU-3 negotiating team which also includes Britain, to be held in Vienna on January 18.