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IAEA team of experts to visit Iran late January: official

(Xinhua)

10:33, January 18, 2012

TEHRAN, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali-Asghar Soltanieh said Tuesday that an IAEA team of experts will visit Iran at the end of January, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

A high-ranking delegation of the UN nuclear watchdog will visit Iran on Jan. 29-31, Soltanieh told Fars.

"This visit is an indication of transparency in the nuclear activities of the country and Iran's cooperation with IAEA," he was quoted as saying.

Last November, the board of the IAEA adopted a resolution on Iran's disputed nuclear program, calling for intensified dialogue to find solutions to unresolved issues.

However, Iranian officials have since been stressing that the IAEA resolution will not stop the country's nuclear program.

Earlier in January, the IAEA said in its latest report on Iran' s nuclear program that "credible" evidence showed that Iran had been seeking to obtain nuclear weapons, an allegation immediately rejected by Tehran, which called the report "imbalanced, non- professional and politically-motivated."

Last week, Soltanieh said all of the country's nuclear activities, including those at Fordo enrichment site, are under the supervision of the UN nuclear watchdog, adding that the agency has been monitoring all the activities in Fordo since two years ago.

Soltanieh said that the Islamic republic needs the 20-percent enriched uranium, to be produced in Fordo, for the production of nuclear fuel rods required at the Tehran Research Reactor for producing radioisotopes for cancer treatment.

Last Monday, Iran confirmed that it had begun uranium enrichment at an underground bunker of the Fordo nuclear facility.

The start of the nuclear work at Fordo has increased international concerns as the West suspects that Iran's uranium enrichment may aim at the ability to make nuclear weapons. But Iran insists that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

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