Iran delays reopening nuclear plant at UN request

Iran this evening agreed to a two-day delay in reopening its nuclear processing plant here after receiving a request from the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency.

Iran this evening agreed to a two-day delay in reopening its nuclear processing plant here after receiving a request from the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency.

Mohammed ElBaradei asked Tehran for a “maximum of two days” to send its inspectors to Iran’s nuclear facility where they can oversee the dismantling of UN seals, said Ali Agha Mohammadi, spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

Earlier, Mohammadi said Iranian technicians would break the seals and restart nuclear processing today.

Mohammadi said the combination of restraint and resolve toward restarting uranium processing showed the government’s intention not to squander Iran’s fundamental right to nuclear power, while preserving close ties to Europe.

“Our people were worried that the government may have done a deal with the Europeans and given up the rights of the nation,” Mohammadi said. “We will do the rest of the work in co-ordination with the Europeans.”

Earlier ElBaradei warned Iran “not to take any action that might prejudice the process at this critical stage.”

EU negotiators have said they are mere days from delivering a package of incentives addressing security and political, economic and nuclear issues.

“I also call on Iran not to take any unilateral action that could undermine the agency inspection process at a time when the agency is making steady progress in resolving outstanding issues,” ElBaradei said.

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