IAEA delegation to visit Iran: Envoy

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 22:52

Tehran: A high-level IAEA delegation is to
visit Iran from January 29-31 to discuss issues it has over
Tehran`s nuclear programme, Iran`s envoy to the UN atomic
watchdog said Tuesday according to the Fars news agency.

The delegation, to be led by chief inspector Herman
Nackaerts, will "negotiate and discuss questions raised by the
IAEA," Ali Ashgar Soltanieh was quoted as saying.

Diplomats in Vienna, where the International Atomic
Energy Agency is headquartered, had already said Nackaerts and
the agency`s number two, Rafael Grossi, were going to visit
Iran late this month.

They had spoken of a visit starting around January 28 and
lasting into the first few days of February.

Soltanieh said the three-day visit finally agreed was "a
new sign of the transparency in Iran`s nuclear programme and
activities and in our interaction with the International
Atomic Energy Agency."

The trip comes at a moment of high international tensions
over Iran`s nuclear programme.

The IAEA issued a report in November expressing strong
suspicions -- but stopping just short of declaring them
verified -- that Iran was researching the development and
delivery of nuclear weapons.

The West, the United States at the fore, has subsequently
ratcheted up sanctions on Iran, threatening its ability to
export and get paid for its oil.

The European Union is expected next week to announce
additional measures said to include a ban on Iranian oil
imports.

IAEA diplomats said that, along with Nakaerts, who is
Belgian, and Grossi, an Argentine who is IAEA head Yukiya
Amano`s chief of staff, the delegation will include the
agency`s senior legal official Peri Lynne Johnson, a US
citizen.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 22:52

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