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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA to inspect Gachin mine soon

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Dec 15, IRNA -- A spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Sunday announced that inspectors of the UN nuclear watchdog are to inspect the Gachin mine in southern Iran in a near future.

"No exact time has, so far, been fixed for the inspection but it would take place in a near future," Behrouz Kamalvandi told IRNA in an exclusive interview.

Inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency visited Arak heavy water facilities early December.

The inspection took place in line with a joint agreement signed on November 11 by Head of the AEOI Ali Akbar Salehi and the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano on bilateral cooperation.

The agreement allows the IAEA inspectors to voluntarily visit Arak heavy water plant in central Iran and Gachin mine in Bandar Abbas.

Kamalvandi said that according to reports, the IAEA inspectors were "happy with their visit to Arak heavy water facilities."

He said by allowing the IAEA inspections from Iranian facilities, Tehran is to build confidence and remove concerns of the other side.

He believed that the concerns were only felt by certain members of the UN nuclear watchdog and not by all.

However, he stressed no more inspections would be made after Arak and Gachin visits.

As to the next round of talks between Iran and the IAEA officials, Kamalvandi said the talks would be held late January.

Referring to the talks as a "complicated process," he said in order to fully determine commitments of each side, "Iran's talks with the IAEA and 5+1 should meet in one point."

The spokesman said Iran's cooperation with the IAEA should be based on mutual trust so that it could "remove concerns of the other side on one hand and respect Iran's complete rights on the other."

Commenting on US recent action against 19 individuals and companies, Kamalvandi said such moves "will affect the trend of cooperation."

"Taking political and technical steps will have mutual impacts on resolving nuclear issue. Iran has always stressed that cooperation should be two-sided," stressed the spokesman.

The US Treasury Department on Thursday blacklisted additional companies and people to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear technology.

Analysts and some foreign officials believe that this anti-Iran move is a serious threat to Iran-5+1 nuclear deal reached recently in Geneva.

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