UN gets access to Iran plant

IRAN, under heavy US-led pressure to curb its nuclear programme, has opened a high-security military site to UN nuclear inspectors who also met senior personnel at the facility.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said the approval was given to the inspectors after they requested to visit the Parchin military site, about 20 miles south-east of Tehran, which US officials claim may be part of Iran’s nuclear arms research programme.

“They talked with our friends this time. What they have done in Iran has been in the framework of the NPT (nuclear nonproliferation treaty) and safeguards,” he said without elaborating.

The country’s nuclear negotiator later called for a renewal of nuclear negotiations with France, Britain and Germany.

In letters to the foreign ministers of the European nations, Ali Larijani asked for “constructive and logical negotiations in the framework of respective conventions and regulations of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)”.

With the next IAEA board meeting only weeks away, Iran is under pressure to show it is co-operating with a UN probe of suspected clandestine nuclear activities as it tries to derail a US-backed European push to report it to the UN Security Council.

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