ElBaradei: IAEA to inspect Iran's new uranium plant on Oct. 25

09:29, October 05, 2009      

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Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) meets with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei (L) in Teheran, capital of Iran, Oct. 4, 2009. ElBaradei arrived in Teheran on Oct. 3.(Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)


Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday that the UN nuclear watchdog would inspect Iran's new uranium plant near Qom on Oct. 25.

ElBaradei made the remarks at a joint press conference in Tehran with Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

The inspection of the newly-disclosed uranium enrichment facility would be carried out in line with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Agreement in Iran, the IAEA chief said.

Last month, Iran confirmed that it is building a new nuclear fuel enrichment plant near Qom. In reaction, the IAEA asked Tehran to provide detailed information and access to the new nuclear facility as soon as possible.

Leaders of the United States, France and Britain have condemned Iran's alleged deception to the international community involving covert activities in the new underground nuclear site.

ElBaradei, who arrived in Iran on Saturday for talks with Iranian officials over Tehran's nuclear program, also said officials from the United States, France, Russia and Iran will meet in Vienna on Oct. 19 for talks on the possible provision of higher-grade uranium for Iran's research reactor in Tehran.

"We will have a meeting to discuss the technical details and hopefully we will hammer out an agreement as early as possible," ElBaradei said.
The IAEA chief insisted that the Iranian nuclear issue can only be solved through dialogue and diplomacy.

The Islamic Republic's relations with Western countries were moving from "conspiracy" to "cooperation," ElBaradei added.

He said the IAEA has no "concrete" proof of weapons program in Iran and meanwhile the agency is working to deal with international concerns over Tehran's nuclear program.

Salehi, for his part, said the talks between Iranian officials and ElBaradei were "very successful" and "we hope Iran's nuclear case will return to a normal course."

Earlier on Sunday, ElBaradei met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Presidential Office in Tehran.

The United States and other Western powers suspect the program is aimed at producing nuclear-weapon material, but Tehran contends that the program has no military component and has steadfastly rejected calls to halt the effort.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili Thursday held talks with top envoys from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in Geneva, Switzerland.

During the talks, Jalili promised that Tehran would soon open its newly-disclosed uranium-enrichment facility near Qom to UN inspectors, according to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who coordinated the talks.

Source: Xinhua
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