Inspectors to Visit Iranian Nuclear Sites, as Negotiations Continue

Global Security Newswire Staff
May 5, 2014, 8:50 a.m.

U.N.-sponsored in­spect­ors are ex­pec­ted to vis­it two Ir­a­ni­an fa­cil­it­ies this week as part of an agree­ment with Tehran to ex­plain its nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies.

Cit­ing Ir­an’s semi-of­fi­cial IRNA news ser­vice, the As­so­ci­ated Press on Sunday re­por­ted that In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency per­son­nel will be gran­ted ac­cess to a urani­um mine and a urani­um-thick­en­ing fa­cil­ity in the towns of Ar­dakan and Yazd early this week.

“Fol­low­ing the vis­it, Ir­an will be able to say that sev­en agreed meas­ures between Ir­an and the agency have [been] ful­filled,” Behrouz Kamal­vandi, a spokes­man for the coun­try’s atom­ic de­part­ment, was quoted as say­ing. “Already six steps have been taken.”

Among those steps is a re­quire­ment for Tehran to provide in­form­a­tion about a pro­gram to de­vel­op ex­plos­ive det­on­at­ors of a type that can be used in nuc­le­ar weapons. Ac­cord­ing to the quasi-of­fi­cial ISNA news agency, Tehran has already sup­plied the re­ques­ted data. Of­fi­cials at the nuc­le­ar watch­dog agency in Vi­enna, though, had no im­me­di­ate know­ledge of the is­sue on Sunday, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

West­ern of­fi­cials fear that Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram could be used to de­vel­op atom­ic arms. Tehran has in­sisted its am­bi­tions are aimed solely at power gen­er­a­tion, med­ic­al uses and re­search.

Ex­perts from Ir­an and six world powers are slated to meet in New York this week on the side­lines of a Pre­par­at­ory Con­fer­ence for next year’s Re­view Con­fer­ence on the status of the Nuc­le­ar Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­por­ted sep­ar­ately on Monday. The side gath­er­ing serves to pre­pare for the next round of min­is­teri­al-level de­lib­er­a­tions in Vi­enna in mid-May.

En­voys are eye­ing a long-term deal to re­place an in­ter­im agree­ment due to ex­pire in Ju­ly. The five per­man­ent mem­bers of the U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil, plus Ger­many, are seek­ing as­sur­ances that Ir­an will be un­able to fab­ric­ate nuc­le­ar arms. In re­turn, Tehran stands to gain re­lief from in­ter­na­tion­al sanc­tions.

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