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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran says talks underway on UN checks at second enrichment site

RIA Novosti

22:16 01/10/2009 UNITED NATIONS, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - Iran is engaged in discussions with the United Nations nuclear watchdog on the extent of future inspections at the country's second uranium enrichment plant, the foreign minister said on Thursday.

"The scale of IAEA inspections are being discussed at talks between official representatives of Iran and the [International Atomic Energy] Agency," Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.

Earlier in the day Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, met in Switzerland with officials from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany to discuss international concerns over Iran's nuclear program. The meeting with the 'Iran Six' countries comes days after news of a second Iranian uranium enrichment site in Qom, north-central Iran, led to calls for harsher sanctions against Tehran.

Mottaki said that Iran was obliged to inform the IAEA of the plant's construction six months ahead of the completion date, but that it will not be completed until 2011.

"We did this not just six months ahead - we gave information a whole year before the required six-month period. This means that Iran gave information on the nuclear facility 18 months in advance," he said.

Mottaki said this demonstrates that Iran is fulfilling its responsibilities to the IAEA, and that it is a responsible member of the agency.

Western powers suspect Iran of attempting to build nuclear weapons, but Tehran says its nuclear program is aimed at generating nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

Iran has agreed with the Iran Six to hold another round of talks by the end of October.

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