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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA Delegation Arrives in Iran to Discuss Nuclear Program

RIA Novosti

08:52 29/01/2012

MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - A delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Iran to discuss the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear program, the Iranian media reported on Sunday.

Iran’s Envoy to the IAEA Ali Ashgar Soltanieh said last week that a delegation of the UN nuclear watchdog would visit Iran on January 29-31 “to negotiate and discuss issues raised by the IAEA.”

The IAEA delegation is led by Herman Nackaerts who is in charge of the Iran nuclear file.

The visit comes amid heightened international tensions over the Iran nuclear program.

The EU voted on Monday to ban oil imports from Iran. The move came after the Islamic Republic announced earlier this month that it had launched a nuclear enrichment program at a well-protected underground facility near the holy Shia city of Qom.

The program envisages enriching uranium to the 20-percent level, which can easily be turned into fissile warhead material.

Western nations suspect Iran, which is already under numerous international sanctions, of pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program but Tehran insists it needs nuclear power solely for civilian purposes.

Iran has threatened to retaliate by blocking the Strait of Hormuz, the main export route for supplies from the Middle East.

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