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IAEA To Send Experts to Iran Ahead Of Deadline

Tehran, 23 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The United Nations nuclear watchdog is to send legal experts soon to Iran, which faces a 31 October deadline to prove it is not secretly making nuclear weapons.

Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on state television yesterday that this visit will happen in the "near future." The representative, Ali Akbar Salehi, said they will continue discussions on signing an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Iran objects to the protocol, which would allow IAEA inspectors to make unscheduled visits to all the country's nuclear installations. Salehi said Iran has cooperated with the IAEA beyond current accords. But he said that in the future Iran will go no further than its commitments.

The United States has accused Iran of running a clandestine nuclear weapons program. Iran says its nuclear program is only for generating electricity.

Copyright (c) 2003. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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