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IAEA inspectors to visit Iran Friday - ISNA

Written by: Staff
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TEHRAN, Apr 4 (Reuters) Inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog will arrive in Iran on Friday to visit nuclear sites, including the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, Iran's ISNA news agency reported today.

''The agency inspectors are travelling to Tehran this Friday. The inspectors will visit different parts of Iran's nuclear facilities including the Natanz facility,'' Aliasghar Soltaniyeh, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, told ISNA.

Soltaniyeh, who had said IAEA inspectors would visit Iran this week but had not given a date, said the inspections were part of Iran's commitment to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In February, Iran scrapped snap inspections of its nuclear facilities after its nuclear file was referred to the U.N.

Security Council, which can impose sanctions. But it says it is continuing to cooperate with the IAEA and its inspectors.

Iranian officials have said IAEA inspectors would get greater access to its nuclear sites if the Iranian atomic file was handed back to the IAEA and handled by the U.N. watchdog rather than the Security Council.

The United Nations has called on Iran to halt uranium enrichment, which the West believes Iran is pursuing to acquire technology to make an atomic bomb. Iran has rejected the demand and insists it only wants to make fuel for civilian uses.

Iran has installed 3,000 centrifuges at its Natanz enrichment plant in central Iran which could produce enough bomb-grade uranium for a single atomic weapon if operating at full capacity for a year.

But experts say Iran still needs to master the enrichment technology.

REUTERS SBJ PC2103

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