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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA experts in Tehran for further nuclear talks

RIA Novosti

06/08/2007 15:07 TEHRAN, August 6 (RIA Novosti) - Four inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog arrived in Tehran Monday to discuss further technical issues in talks aimed at allaying international concerns over Iran's nuclear program, the IRNA news agency said.

The delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), led by Hosoya Michio, will meet with Iranian negotiators headed by the deputy director of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammad Saeedi, to discuss a timetable for UN inspectors to visit the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran. Talks will continue until August 9.

Iran, which Western countries suspect of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program, recently intensified cooperation with the IAEA, and invited weapons inspectors to visit a 40-MW heavy water reactor in Arak in late July.

Iran insists it needs nuclear power purely to generate electricity. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in early April the start of uranium enrichment on an industrial scale.

The Iranian leadership has repeatedly said it planned to install 50,000 gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, which will make the country independent from nuclear fuel imports. As of May 13, Natanz had eight cascades with 164 centrifuges each, according to an IAEA report.

International experts have said creating enough highly-enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb would take one year if 3,000 centrifuges are involved, but only five weeks to two months if 50,000 centrifuges are used.

Iran has defied three consecutive UN resolutions against its nuclear program since last year. The six countries negotiating the dispute - permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany - have demanded that Tehran suspend all uranium enrichment before negotiating a solution to the dispute.

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