IAEA inspectors in Iran to visit nuclear facility

IAEA inspectors in Iran to visit nuclear facility
Sun Dec 8, 2013 09:28:15

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have arrived in Iran to visit the country’s Arak heavy water facility.

The IAEA inspectors arrived in Tehran on Saturday after the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) granted the agency’s request to visit the plant, Press TV reported.

The voluntary move is a goodwill gesture on the part of Iran to clear up ambiguities over the peaceful nature of the country’s nuclear energy program.

The inspection of the plant is scheduled to take place on Monday within the framework of an earlier agreement signed between Tehran and the IAEA.

It will be the IAEA’s third visit to the Arak plant.

The Arak heavy water facility, which uses natural uranium to produce radio medicines, is planned to gradually replace the Tehran research reactor to produce medical radioisotopes for cancer patients.

In November, Iran and the IAEA agreed on a road map under which Iran would, on a voluntary basis, allow IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water plant and the Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas, in southern Iran, despite the fact that Tehran is under no such obligation to do so under the Safeguards Agreement.

The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence showing that Iran's nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.

On November 24, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany sealed an interim agreement in the Swiss city of Geneva to pave the way for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.

As part of the deal, some of the existing sanctions against the Islamic Republic would be lifted in exchange for Iran’s confidence-building move to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities.

HH/HH

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