Iran, IAEA sign deal for inspecting more n-facilities

    By IANS,

    Tehran: Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed a cooperation deal in Tehran Monday, enabling the UN nuclear watchdog to have access to more Iranian nuclear facilities for inspection.

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    According to the agreement signed by Ali-Akbar Salehi, the head of Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, and Yukiya Amano, the visiting chief of the IAEA, Iran will allow the UN nuclear watchdog’s inspectors to visit Arak heavy water plant and Gachin yellow cake mine, Xinhua reported.

    Salehi said the agreement “is a roadmap which clarifies the mutual steps to resolve the remaining issues” pertaining to the IAEA’s questions on Iran’s nuclear activities.

    In the agreement, Iran announced its readiness to “voluntarily let the IAEA inspectors visit the Arak heavy water plant as well as the Bandar Abbas Gachin mine” in the south of the country, said Salehi.

    “This shows Iran’s flexibility (in its efforts) to close its case with the IAEA and to bar all the excuses used by some to hinder the progress of the work (nuclear issue),” he added.

    On Monday, Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi announced here that Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog will hold another round of talks Dec 11 in Vienna.

    Western countries have long been accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear programme. Iran, however, says the suspicion is baseless and fabricated, insisting its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.