U.N. Officials Arrive In Iran To Inspect New Nuclear Facility

By: CNN
By: CNN

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- International officials arrived in Iran on Sunday to inspect a newly disclosed nuclear facility near the city of Qom, state media reported.

Inspectors from the United Nations' nuclear watchdog -- the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- will visit the installation to make sure it is being used for peaceful purposes, said Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

The three-day visit comes after Iran said Friday that it needs more time to decide whether to sign onto a deal that could help end the international showdown over its nuclear activities.

That proposal calls for low-enriched uranium produced in Iran to be sent abroad for further enrichment and then returned for use in medical research and treatment.

Video: Iran's nuclear deadline Tehran is studying the draft proposal and will have an answer next week, Iranian diplomat Ali Asghar Soltanieh said on state-run Press TV.

Iran informed IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei that it is "considering the proposal in depth and in a favorable light, but it needs until the middle of next week to provide a response," according to an IAEA statement.

Delegations from Iran, France, Russia, the United States and the IAEA met in Vienna this week to work out details of the tentative deal reached in early October. And France, Russia and the United States indicated their approval of the arrangement.

"The Director General hopes that Iran's response will equally be positive, since approval of this agreement will signal a new era of cooperation," the IAEA statement said.

Tehran sent shock waves through the international community by revealing in a letter to the IAEA the existence of a second nuclear enrichment facility near Qom.

"It is important for us to send out inspectors to do comprehensive verification ... to assure ourselves that it is ... fit for peaceful purposes," ElBaradei said earlier this month.

After the inspection, but before the end of the month, Iranian officials are expected to meet with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany to further discuss Tehran's nuclear program.

Iran's leaders maintain that their nation's nuclear program is intended solely for peaceful purposes, but many in the West believe Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons capabilities.

Low-enriched nuclear fuel can be further enriched into weapons-grade material.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email: feedback@wibw.com
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 65957347 - wibw.com/a?a=65957347