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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA to visit Tehran for further nuke talks April 28

RIA Novosti

25/04/2008 17:25 TEHRAN, April 25 (RIA Novosti) - A delegation from the international nuclear watchdog will arrive in Tehran on April 28 to continue negotiations started earlier this week on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, the IRNA news agency reported on Friday.

The agency said the delegation will be led by Olli Heinonen, deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who met with the country's top security and nuclear officials in closed sessions at Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) April 21-22.

"Olli Heinonen, at the head of the IAEA delegation, will arrive in the Iranian capital next Monday to continue negotiations," IRNA quoted a source close to the talks as saying.

The IAEA said Wednesday Iran had agreed to cooperate with its investigation into claims Tehran was trying to develop nuclear weapons.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said earlier this week Iran is prepared to try and reach an agreement with any country over its nuclear program, but will not stop its development of peaceful atomic energy despite outside pressure.

The IAEA said in a report released in late February that Iran had become more transparent on its nuclear program, but had failed to fully answer allegations relating to nuclear weapons development.

The international community has demanded that Tehran halt uranium enrichment, used both in electricity generation and nuclear weapons production. Iran insists on its right to civilian nuclear energy, and has defied three sets of United Nations sanctions over its nuclear program.

Iran, however, announced this month it was installing another 6,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges at its underground facility in Natanz in addition to the current 3,000. The country also announced tests of advanced enrichment centrifuges, along with plans to build a second uranium processing plant by next March.

The country's nuclear ambitions have fueled tensions with Washington, with U.S. President George Bush refusing late last year to rule out military action against Tehran.

Russia and China, which both have strong business interests in Iran, blocked stronger measures against the country using their vetoes at the UN Security Council.

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