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No date yet for IAEA visit to Iran`s new nuclear site

Last Updated: Monday, September 28, 2009 - 23:51

Vienna: No date has yet been fixed for UN inspectors to visit a controversial new site where Iran has admitted to building a second uranium enrichment plant, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday.
"There`s no date yet," a spokesman for the atomic watchdog said amid calls by western countries for immediate access to the facility situated inside a mountain near the holy city of Qom, 160 kilometres south of Tehran.

Iran admitted last week that it is building a uranium enrichment plant at the site, its second after a facility in Natanz, in defiance of repeated UN demands for a halt to all enrichment activities until the IAEA can vouchsafe that they are entirely peaceful, as claimed by the Islamic republic.

Enriched uranium can be used to make nuclear fuel, but also the fissile material for an atomic bomb.

At last week`s G20 summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown threatened tough sanctions if Iran failed to open the plant to IAEA inspectors.

"We expect the IAEA to immediately investigate this disturbing information and to report to the IAEA board of governors," Obama said, describing the new plant as a "direct challenge" to international non-proliferation rules.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, September 28, 2009 - 23:51
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