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09/05/11

Iran Offers UN Supervision of Nuclear Sites if Sanctions Lifted

Source: VOA

Iran's nuclear chief says Tehran is willing to grant United Nations inspectors “full supervision” of Iranian nuclear activities for five years if sanctions against the country are lifted.

Iranian Atomic Energy Organization director Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani made the offer in an interview with Iran's ISNA news agency published Monday. He did not explain what he means by “full supervision.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency has been trying to gain unfettered access to Iranian nuclear sites for years and has long complained of a lack of Iranian cooperation with the U.N. body's inspectors.

A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton responded to Abbasi-Davani's offer by telling the French news agency that U.N. resolutions require Iran to comply with international obligations to suspend sensitive nuclear work before sanctions are lifted.

An IAEA report released to the media Friday says information obtained from member states has made the agency “increasingly concerned” that Iran secretly is developing a nuclear payload for a missile. Abbasi-Davani rejected the accusation as “fabricated and baseless.” Iran says its nuclear program is devoted only to the peaceful generation of energy.

The report also said Iran has begun installing equipment to enrich uranium at an underground bunker near the country's main enrichment facility at Natanz. Enriched uranium can be used in the production of electricity or to make a nuclear bomb when refined to a higher level.

 
Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility south of Tehran

In his interview, Abbasi-Davani also accused the IAEA's Japanese director-general Yukio Amano of being “more under the influence” of Western powers than the former U.N. nuclear chief, Mohamad ElBaradei of Egypt.

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