TEHRAN – International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors will travel to Iran to visit the Gachin uranium mine by the end of January, Iran’s nuclear chief announced on Sunday.
Ali Akbar Salehi, director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), also said that Tehran is fully committed to a joint statement that Iran and the UN nuclear agency signed on further cooperation on Tehran’s nuclear activities in the Iranian capital on November 11, 2013.
The inspection will be carried out as part of the joint statement, which represents a roadmap that specifies bilateral steps in regard to the outstanding issues concerning Iran’s nuclear program.
Under the agreement, Iran agreed to allow the agency’s inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water site in Markazi Province and the Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran.
IAEA inspectors visited the Arak heavy water production plant on December 8, 2013.
According to Iranian officials, Iran has no commitments based on the safeguards agreement to allow such inspections, but it agreed to do so to show the country’s will to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Salehi said that he has a positive view of the nuclear talks between Iran and world powers and the discussions between the country and the UN nuclear agency.
“If there is a problem, it can be resolved through patience,” he said.
He also said that a number of AEOI technical experts will join the country’s nuclear negotiating team because the negotiations with world powers have reached a point that there is a need for the involvement of nuclear experts in the process of talks.
The Iran-IAEA discussions are separate from, but closely linked to, negotiations between Tehran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) which reached a landmark deal in Geneva on November 24, 2013. Under the interim agreement, Tehran will not expand its nuclear program for six months in exchange for limited relief from the sanctions.
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