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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran: Cooperation With IAEA Will Continue

23 January 2007

Iran says it will continue cooperating with United Nations nuclear inspectors, despite barring 38 of them from entering the country.

A government spokesman, Gholamhossein Elham, told reporters in Tehran Tuesday that Iran has "no problem" with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Referring to Monday's announcement barring 38 IAEA inspectors, the spokesman said "it is the legitimate right of all governments to screen inspectors." He added that it was a routine and legal decision.

The IAEA says there are still a sufficient number of inspectors to monitor Iran's nuclear activities.

The Iranian move follows a U.N. Security Council resolution last month imposing sanctions on Tehran because it refuses to suspend uranium enrichment.

In Washington, the U.S. State Department deplored what it called Iran's "defiant attitude toward the international community."

In Brussels, European Union foreign ministers called on the 27 EU countries to implement the U.N. sanctions "in full and without delay."

IAEA officials have carried out regular inspections of Iran's nuclear sites in the past under the terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a signatory.

Iranian officials say they will continue enriching uranium despite the sanctions. They say they will use nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. The West suspects Tehran of seeking to produce atomic weapons.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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