UN nuclear agency suggests visit to Iran

The United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday it may visit Iran for talks, a day after a senior Iranian official said Tehran was prepared to discuss international concerns and remove “ambiguities” about its disputed nuclear programme.

“We’re working on a possible visit,” Gill Tudor, spokesperson for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in an email response to a question. She gave no further details.

Western powers suspect Iran’s nuclear programme is aimed at developing nuclear weapons, fears that were reinforced by an IAEA report last month. Iran says its nuclear work is aimed at generating electricity, rejecting accusations of weapons aims.

Iran’s ambassador to the Vienna-based UN agency on Tuesday told Reuters Tehran had renewed its invitation for a senior IAEA team to travel to the Islamic Republic, which was first issued in October.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh said the purpose would be “to work to remove any ambiguities with the aim of resolving the issues and to conclude and stop this endless process”.

Western diplomats tend to see such invitations as attempts by Iran, a major oil producer, to buy time and ease international pressure without heeding UN demands to curb nuclear work which could be used for making atomic bombs. — Reuters

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