UN inspectors check Arak nuclear site

July 31, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN (AFP) - A group of UN atomic inspectors on Monday visited a heavy water reactor in Iran, officials said.

""International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts on Monday inspected the 40 megawatt research reactor in Arak,"" IRNA quoted an unnamed informed source as saying.
""The inspection took around five hours,"" the source added. ""The inspection follows the recent agreement between the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and Iran and is part of the framework of solving the remaining issues in Iran's nuclear case.""
Iran had said on July 13 that it would let IAEA inspectors visit the Arak nuclear reactor, which is currently under construction and should be completed in 2009.
Its decision was seen as a conciliatory move at a time of mounting tension over the Iranian nuclear program, which has already seen Tehran imposed with two sets of UN sanctions.
The United States claims the Arak reactor could provide plutonium for nuclear weapons but Iran insists that it will provide key nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, has said that ""just one visit (to Arak) will be enough"" for the inspectors.
The heavy water reactor is separate from the other nuclear sites in the country that are aimed at making fuel for Iran's future nuclear power plants.
The sites in Isfahan and Natanz convert and then enrich uranium to produce nuclear fuel.
The inspectors' visit to Arak was finalized after talks in Vienna on July 24 between IAEA deputy director general Olli Heinonen and Iran's deputy national security chief Javad Vaidi.
Those talks were part of an ongoing process aimed at finalizing a plan to clarify issues related to the scope and content of Iran's uranium enrichment program