IAEA, Iran resume talks on site access

June 8, 2012 at 7:32 AM
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TEHRAN, June 8 (UPI) -- Inspectors renewed talks with Iran on visiting a site where the U.N. nuclear agency believes scientists may have tested potential triggers for nuclear warheads.

Discussions Friday between the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and Iranian officials are separate from talks between Iran and world powers on its controversial nuclear program. Those talks are to resume in Moscow later this month.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said agency inspectors wanted access as soon as possible to a facility in Parchin because they think scientists may have tested explosives that could be used to trigger a nuclear warhead, The New York Times reported. Iran has denied the accusation.

Iran maintains its nuclear program is for civilian purposes but Western leaders say they fear it is to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons.

Earlier this week, Amano voiced concern about satellite images taken in May indicating the demolition of buildings at the Parchin site. Iran also denied this, saying the reports were propaganda from its Western adversaries and Israel.

Iranian officials suggested they wanted to see the documents the IAEA used as the basis for its suspicions before allowing inspections at Parchin, about 20 miles from Tehran.

In Beijing on Friday, Chinese President Hu Jintao urged visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be "flexible and pragmatic" during the Moscow talks June 18-19 and to cooperate with the IAEA, the Times reported.

China, the United States, Russia, Britain, France and Germany are conducting the talks with Iran, which faces a July 1 deadline for more restrictive sanctions on its oil and banking industries.

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