EU 'Will Reject Iran Invitation' To Nuclear Sites
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton says the European Union welcomes
Iran's invitation to visit its nuclear facilities but that the task should be
carried out by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton with Said Jalili, Iran's longtime chief
nuclear negotiator and recently appointed foreign minister, at the UN in Geneva
in early December
Ashton told the Reuters news agency that she had consulted with Russia and China
before taking the decision that the invitation should be turned down.
She was speaking in Budapest on the sidelines of a meeting with Hungarian
Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi.
In Brussels, Ashton spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic confirmed the EU's stance on the
"We believe that the inspectors of the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy
Agency, are best placed to view different nuclear facilities in Iran and the
high representative [Catherine Ashton] has reaffirmed this position," Kocijancic
Iran has invited some diplomats accredited to the IAEA to visit nuclear
facilities in the Islamic Republic.
The invitation comes ahead of a new round of talks over Tehran's controversial
nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing bombs.
Some Western diplomats see Iran's overture as an attempt to split the six powers
involved in talks with Iran.
Iran invited Russia and China but not the other four countries involved in the
nuclear talks -- Britain, France, Germany, and the United States.
compiled from agency reports
Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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