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UN nuclear chief to visit Iran to discuss inspections

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow : The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog is set to arrive in Iran on Saturday to discuss inspections of the country’s controversial second uranium enrichment facility.

The visit of Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, comes two days after talks in Switzerland between Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and representatives of six world powers.

The meeting with the ‘Iran Six’ was convened soon after news of Iran’s second uranium enrichment site in Qom led to calls for harsher sanctions against Tehran.

AFP news agency quoted an Iranian official as saying that during his visit, ElBaredei will meet with Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization.

After returning to Tehran on Friday, Jalili said Iran will continue to insist on its legal right to pursue a civilian nuclear program.

Russia’s foreign minister said the negotiations had “inspired cautious optimism.”

“The main agreement is that Iran will allow IAEA inspectors access to the enrichment facility in Qom in the near future,” Sergei Lavrov said.

Western powers suspect Iran of attempting to build atomic weapons, but Tehran says its nuclear program is aimed at generating nuclear energy for civilian purposes.