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UPDATED: 09:17, February 04, 2007
Iran shows nuke facilities to envoys from NAM, group 77
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Iran on Saturday showed its uranium conversion factory (UCF) in the central city of Isfahan to envoys from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) troika and Group 77 states, local Fars news agency reported.

The most important activities taking place in the UCF plant were converting uranium ore (also known as the yellow cake) into feedstock uranium hexafluoride (UF6) and other uranium products including UF4 and UO2.

According to the report, the NAM envoys include Cuban, Malaysian and Egyptian ambassadors to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), while the Group 77 envoys are from Sudan and Bolivia.

Iran's envoy to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh guided the envoys and some other domestic and foreign reporters to the site and showed the guests the IAEA's cameras installed in the heart of the plant.

The trip was intended to demonstrate the openness and transparency of Iran's nuclear program, the report said.

As scheduled, the envoys will also meet with Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Gholam-Reza Aghazadeh. They will leave the country on Monday.

Last month, Iran banned 38 IAEA inspectors to enter the country and accused them of "unprofessional and illegal" activities during their inspections at Iran's nuclear sites.

The Islamic Republic, meanwhile, has promised to fully cooperate with the IAEA within the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on inspection and safeguards supervision, saying the cooperation would continue.

Under the agreement with the Iranian authorities, the IAEA regularly took snap inspections on the country's nuclear sites in the past year.

Since its relations with the West has exacerbated due to the nuclear disputes last year, Iran has started to limit the visit to the country's nuclear sites by inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog.

The UN Security Council passed the Resolution 1737 on Dec. 23, 2006, calling on Tehran to suspend its enrichment activities while imposing sanctions on Iran's nuclear and missile programs.

However, Iran rejected the resolution and vowed to install at least 3,000 centrifuges by the end of March.

On Dec. 27, the Iranian parliament passed a bill obliging the government to reduce its cooperation with the UN nuclear agency, which was approved by the powerful Guardians Council immediately and formally became a law.

Source: Xinhua

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