IAEA investigators arrive in Teheran for talks

April 21st, 2008 - 3:50 pm ICT by admin  

Tehran, April 21 (IANS) Top investigator of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Olli Heinonen arrived here Monday to hold talks with Iranian officials on the country’s nuclear programme, IRNA news agency reported. Ali-Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the UN nuclear watchdog welcomed Heinonen at the Imam Khomeini International Airport. IAEA director, Herman Nackaerts, is accompanying Heinonen on his two-day visit to the Islamic Republic.

Heinonen, who is the head of an IAEA unit that investigates whether countries have secret nuclear programmes, will probe whether the Islamic country has a weapons project.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini Sunday sought to play down Heinonen’s visit and insisted that the IAEA official was coming to hold talks within the Iran-IAEA framework of cooperation.

Western countries suspect Iran has a secret weapons programme in the guise of its nuclear power project. However, Tehran denies this, saying its nuclear programme is civilian in nature.

The UN Security Council has already issued three resolutions against Iran and imposed partial sanctions on the country for its refusal to stop activities relating to uranium enrichment which can be used for both generating electricity and making an atom bomb.

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