Saturday, October 24, 2009

IAEA Inspectors to Arrive in Tehran

IAEA inspectors are scheduled to arrive in Tehran later tonight. They will inspect a newly disclosed nuclear facility near the city of Qom.

The three-day visit comes after Iran said Friday that it needs more time to decide whether to sign onto a deal with the major powers to sent most of its stockpile of low-grade enriched uranium to Russia and France.

Iran informed IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei that it is "considering the proposal in depth and in a favorable light, but it needs until the middle of next week to provide a response," according to an IAEA statement published yesterday.

The revelation of the construction of Qum facility surprised the international community. Tehran was under UN sanctions to stop its uranium enrichment activities in Natanz. Now the Qum facility was being set up to expand the enrichment activities.

“It is important for us to send out inspectors to do comprehensive verification ... to assure ourselves that it [Qum facility] is fit for peaceful purposes,” ElBaradei said [CNN, 24 October].

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