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Foreign Envoys Begin Nuclear Tour In Iran

Source: Press TV

After foreign representatives arrived in Iran to visit nuclear its sites, caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi described the move as a gesture of goodwill and transparency on the part of the country.

Representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Non-aligned Movement (NAM), Group of 77 and the Arab League arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a two-day tour of the country's nuclear sites.  The delegates represent more than 120 countries

Salehi welcomed the envoys, who have gone to the city of Arak to visit the city's heavy water reactor, and said the diplomats would tour sites and unveiled findings, especially in the field of radio-pharmaceuticals the next day.

Arak heavy water installation

He stressed the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program, adding that IAEA reports verify this fact.

The US and its allies accuse Iran of developing a military nuclear program, and used this pretext to pressure the UN Security Council to impose a fourth round of sanctions against Iran's financial and military sectors in June.

Iranian officials have repeatedly refuted the charges, arguing that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, Tehran has the right to use peaceful nuclear technology.

Iran extended the invitation to allow the inspection of its nuclear facilities as a goodwill gesture aimed at displaying the "transparency" of its nuclear program in the spirit of international cooperation.

Iran invited EU member states as well but they refused Tehran's offer.

Iran's Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh said the EU lost the "historic opportunity" for further cooperation with Iran and visiting the country's peaceful nuclear activities, IRNA reported.

According to Soltanieh, this is not the first time that foreign delegates visit Iran's nuclear sites.

He said that representatives from the NAM and Group of 77 visited Isfahan UCF nuclear site in 2007.

Earlier on Friday, Iranian caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the Islamic Republic is ready to take any measure to help build confidence in its nuclear program but will not compromise on its legitimate rights.

"We are ready to take any measure in line with building mutual confidence with the West while protecting our nuclear rights," he said.

Salehi, who is also the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, expressed hope that the country's goodwill gestures would help build confidence.

"There is no country in the world that is ready to expose its nuclear facilities, and this (invitation) demonstrates the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear activities," Salehi stated.

... Payvand News - 01/15/11 ... --

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