Iran agrees to new UN nuclear inspections and safeguards

13 July 2007 – The United Nations nuclear watchdog announced today that it has reached agreement with Iranian authorities to allow new inspections and safeguards at some of its key facilities.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors will visit the heavy water research reactor at Arak by the end of this month and will also finalize the safeguards approach at the fuel enrichment plant in Natanz early next month, the IAEA said in a press statement issued at its headquarters in Vienna.

Iran and the IAEA also agreed on the designation of new agency inspectors, according to the statement.

The deal follows a two-day visit to Iran by a team of IAEA experts – lead by Olli Heinonen, the agency’s Deputy Director General for Safeguards – that ended yesterday.

The visit follows last month’s meeting between IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and Ali Larijani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran.

The IAEA and Iran have also agreed to hold another meeting in early August on steps to resolve remaining issues pertaining to the country’s past plutonium experiments.

Tehran has stated that is nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, but other countries contend that it is driven by military ambitions.

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