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Thursday, January 11, 2007

UN nuclear agency inspectors arrive in Iran

LONDON, January 11 (IranMania) - Two inspectors from the UN nuclear agency arrived in Iran to inspect the country's nuclear facilities, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran's parliament urged the government in late December to re-examine its ties with the International Atomic Energy Agency after the UN Security Council imposed sanctions against Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.

The two IAEA inspectors were conducting routine investigations of Iran's nuclear facilities in the cities of Isfahan and Natanz, the report said. They were expected to stay about a week.

The news agency said the IAEA inspectors would also "review the trend of cooperation with Iranian nuclear officials."

Iran says that as a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it has the right to develop a peaceful nuclear power program. But the Security Council in December imposed limited sanctions on Iran for its refusal to cease uranium enrichment, a process that can produce the material for either nuclear reactors or atomic bombs.

The United States and its European allies suspect Iran's civilian nuclear program is a cover for developing such a bomb.

IAEA inspectors regularly visit Iran, but the Islamic republic's lack of transparency has increased suspicions it is conducting a secret weapons program.
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