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10/24/09

UN Inspectors to Visit Iran Nuclear Plant

By VOA News

U.N. nuclear inspectors are heading to Iran to examine one of the country's controversial uranium enrichment sites.

The team, from the International Atomic Energy Agency, is due to arrive in Iran Saturday, and to tour the nuclear facility in Qom the next day.

Iran only recently acknowledged it had been building the enrichment plant. Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said last month that Tehran would allow inspectors to visit the site.

Iran is still deliberating over a U.N.-backed arrangement on having Russia enrich uranium for Iran to use in a research reactor.

The deal, agreed to by Russia, the United States and France is designed to prevent Iran from enriching uranium to the point that it can be used for nuclear weapons.

The IAEA wanted Iran to respond to the plan by Friday, but Tehran says it is postponing its decision until next week.

Iranian state television quoted the country's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, as saying his country is still considering various aspects of the proposal.

The five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany will hold talks with Iran at the end of this month in Geneva.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran for its refusal to halt its enrichment activities.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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