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IAEA Hopes for Mission to Tehran

The United Nations is hoping Iran will allow a high-level mission to inspect the country's nuclear sites.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 11/17/2011, 2:24 PM

Qoms Nuclear Site
Qoms Nuclear Site
NASA


The United Nations is hoping Iran will allow a high-level mission to inspect the country's nuclear sites.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano said Thursday he wrote a letter on November 2 proposing an inspection team visit Tehran.

“I wrote to Iran's vice-president and president of the country's Atomic Energy Organization, Dr. [Kausar] Abbasi... proposing to send a high-level team to Iran,” Amano revealed Thursday in an address at the start of a two-meeting of the IAEA's board of governors.

“I hope a suitable date can be agreed upon soon. It is essential that any such mission should be well planned and that it should address the issues contained in my report,” he continued.

“I ask Iran to engage substantively with the agency without delay and provide the requested clarifications regarding possible military dimensions to its nuclear program.

“I remain willing to engage in dialogue with Iran,” he added.

In its latest report, the IAEA said last week that it was able to build an overall “credible” impression that Iranian scientists were engaged in carrying out “activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.”

Iran has dismissed the report as “baseless.”

The report included detailed evidence such as the transfer underground of low-enriched uranium in large containers, a bus-sized steel container visible by satellite for explosives testing and weapons design work – including how to arm a Shahab-3 missile with a nuclear warhead.

The Shahab-3 has a range long enough to reach the State of Israel, which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has for years threatened to “wipe off the map.”