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Alliance News

IAEA, Iran discuss next inspection steps

Wed, 11th Dec 2013 10:30

Vienna (Alliance News) - Officials from Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency met Wednesday in Vienna to discuss next steps in broadening inspections of the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme, including a visit to a uranium mine.

As part of its efforts to repair relations with the international community, Iran agreed with the IAEA last month to provide access to formerly off-limit sites, shortly before closing a separate nuclear deal with six world powers in Geneva.

At the weekend, Iran fulfilled one of the points of its agreement with the IAEA when it allowed inspections of a factory that makes coolant for the plutonium-producing Arak reactor.

Under this agreement, Iran is also obliged to open up the Gachin mine to IAEA scrutiny.

"We will discuss that," Tehran's IAEA envoy Reza Najafi said as he arrived for the meeting.

Inspections of the mine in southern Iran will help determine whether the country wants to secretly enrich uranium in centrifuges for use in nuclear weapons, according to David Albright, head of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington.

"This will allow the IAEA to know the amount of natural uranium mined at Gachin, making it harder for Iran to generate a secret stock of natural uranium that could be used in a clandestine, parallel centrifuge program," the non-proliferation expert wrote recently.

Copyright dpa

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