Middle East
UN inspects Iranian nuclear reactor
Officials from the atomic inspection agency visit heavy-water facility near Arak.
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2007 16:25 GMT
The reactor is due to be completed in 2009 and is the first facility to be inspected since April [EPA]
Inspectors from the IAEA have visited a heavy water reactor in Iran, examining a key component of the country's nuclear programme.
The five-hour inspection on Monday was the first since April, when Iran blocked access to the research reactor outside the central town of Arak, 200km south of Tehran.
State-run IRNA agency quoted an unnamed source as saying the inspection "is part of the framework of solving the remaining issues in Iran's nuclear case."

Iran had said on July 13 that it would let IAEA inspectors visit the reactor, which is under construction and is due to be completed in 2009.

'One visit'

The UN has previously imposed sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme and has warned of more punitive action.

The US fears the Arak reactor could provide plutonium for weapons, while Tehran insists its programme is for civilian use.

The IAEA has blocked technical co-operation for the reactor.

Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, has said that "just one visit (to Arak) will be enough" for the inspectors.

Further inspections

Iran has other sites that convert and enrich uranium to produce nuclear fuel, a process the West says could be diverted to an alleged weapons programme.

Mohammad Ali Hosseini, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, confirmed another team of IAEA experts would visit the country on August 6 to discuss inspections of the Natanz facility.

Iran will then hold a third round of talks with IAEA officials in Tehran on August 20, he said.

The UN Security Council has repeatedly called on Iran to freeze its uranium enrichment and halt construction of the Arak reactor.

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