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Archive for Sunday, November 9, 2003

Iran says it will allow nuclear inspections

November 9, 2003

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— Iran will firm up pledges this week to allow snap inspections of suspect nuclear sites and announce when it will suspend uranium enrichment, the head of the U.N. nuclear agency and a top Iranian official said Saturday.

Working to deflect the possibility of international sanctions, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, met with Hasan Rowhani, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council.

ElBaradei told reporters afterward that Rowhani reaffirmed Iran's commitment to allowing more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities and suspending uranium enrichment. Iran made those pledges under pressure to prove it is not trying to make nuclear arms but had not specified a time frame.

"Next week, we will get a letter from Iran on the conclusion of the additional protocol," which -- if approved by Iran's parliament -- would allow IAEA inspectors to probe nuclear activities hitherto off-limits, ElBaradei told reporters. Rowhani also promised a letter next week "on Iran's agreement to suspend all enrichment activities and reprocessing activities," ElBaradei said.

Asked for a firm date on the start of a moratorium on uranium enrichment, Rowhani said he would announce that this week.

The meeting between ElBaradei and Rowhani came only days before ElBaradei is to release a report to the IAEA board of governors on Tehran's nuclear activities.

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