UN nuke inspectors will not visit sites, say Iran

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 18:28

Tehran: A UN team visiting Iran has no plans
to inspect the country`s nuclear facilities and will only hold
talks with officials in Tehran, Iran`s Foreign Ministry
spokesman said Tuesday.

The remarks by Ramin Mehmanparast cast doubt on how much
the UN inspectors would be able to gauge whether Iran is
moving ahead with its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The two-day visit by the International Atomic Energy
Agency team, which started Monday, is the second in less than
a month amid growing concerns over alleged Iranian weapons
experiments.

Iran denies charges by the West that it seeks atomic
weapons, insisting its nuclear activities are for peaceful
purposes only, such as power generation.

Mehmanparast said the visiting IAEA team was made up of
experts, not inspectors. He told reporters that the IAEA team
was holding discussions Tuesday in Tehran to prepare the
ground for future cooperation between Iran and the UN
watchdog. He said this cooperation is at its "best" level.

"The titles of the members of the visiting delegation are
not inspectors. This is an expert delegation. The purpose of
visit is not inspection," said Mehmanparast. "The aim is to
negotiate about cooperation between Iran and the agency and to
set a framework for a continuation of the talks."

Visits to individual Iranian nuclear sites were also not
part of the IAEA earlier visit three weeks ago. But yesterday,
Iranian state radio said the UN team had asked to visit the
Parchin military complex outside Tehran, a known conventional
arms facility that has been suspected as a secret weapons
-making location and also to meet Iranian nuclear scientists
involved in the country`s controversial program.

"Iran`s cooperation with the (IAEA) agency continues and
is at its best level," added Mehmanparast.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 18:28

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