Sunday, January 29, 2012

State media: U.N. nuclear team arrives in Iran

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors arrived in Iran early Sunday for a three-day visit to examine the nation's controversial nuclear program, state media reported.
The six-member delegation, including chief inspector Herman Nackaerts, arrived at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, Press TV reported.
"We are trying... to resolve all the outstanding issues with Iran," Nackaerts told reporters earlier, as he was about to leave Vienna, Austria, according to Press TV. "We are looking forward to the start of a dialogue, a dialogue that is overdue."
A day earlier, Iran's envoy to the energy agency said he was hopeful the trip will "resolve any ambiguity and show (our) transparency and cooperation with the agency."
"This trip is aimed at neutralizing enemy plots ... and baseless allegations, and proving the peaceful nature of our nuclear activities," Ali Asghar Soltanieh told state-run Islamic Republican News Agency.
Speaking Friday at the Davos Forum in Switzerland, energy agency Director General Yukiya Amano told reporters he hoped there will be "substantial cooperation" and that Iranian authorities "will take a constructive approach."
"We are requesting that Iran clarify the situation," he said. "The preparations have gone well, but we need to see what actually happens when the mission arrives."
Amano said that the energy agency proposed the mission, and Iranian authorities "agreed to accept" it. But the Islamic news agency reported Nackaerts is traveling at Tehran's invitation.
Amano said the visit is intended "to clarify the issues with possible military dimensions."
"We are not very sure whether Iran has declared everything and, therefore, we are not very sure that everything stays in peaceful purpose," he said. "In addition, we have information that Iran has engaged in activities related to the development of nuclear weapons. Therefore, we need to clarify."
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Tehran's nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes. He has also said he was ready to discuss the program with world powers -- including Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
But U.S. and other Western officials have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons and have slapped sanctions on Iran.
The energy agency reported in November that it can no longer verify that the Iranian nuclear program remains peaceful

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