UN atomic chief set for talks in Iran today

Last Updated: Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 08:42

Tehran: The head of the UN atomic watchdog
was due to hold talks on Sunday with senior Iranian officials on
allowing its inspectors into Iran`s new uranium enrichment
plant at the holy city of Qom, local media said.

Mohamed ElBaradei`s visit comes after Washington and its
allies demanded rapid progress in revived talks in Geneva last
week on Iran`s controversial nuclear programme.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief was
expected to meet Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Iranian
Atomic Energy Organisation, and other officials on Sunday,
news agencies said.

The main purpose of his visit is to discuss with Iranian
officials "how UN inspectors can visit the Qom plant, other
nuclear facilities and to discuss more cooperation," the ILNA
news agency said.

Iran`s English-language Press TV said ElBaradei would not
visit the Qom facility himself during his trip.

The disclosure prior to the Geneva talks by Iran that it
is building a second nuclear enrichment plant inside a
mountain at Qom triggered worldwide outrage.
His visit comes amid mounting international pressure
against Iran over its uranium enrichment programme, including
a demand by US President Barack Obama after Thursday`s talks
in Geneva for swift and "constructive" action by Tehran.

Obama said that the Geneva meeting, which included the
highest-level direct talks between the United States and Iran
in three decades, marked a "constructive" start to defusing
the nuclear standoff.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 08:42

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