Iran may allow IAEA inspectors, message to EU indicates(Lead)

August 5th, 2008 - 10:57 pm ICT by IANS  


Tehran, Aug 5 (IANS) Iran Tuesday sent a message to the European Union (EU) indicating its readiness to allow the UN nuclear watchdog experts to inspect its nuclear activities, the Mehr news agency reported. The agency quoted a source with Iran’s supreme National Security Council as saying that the government had delivered its message to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana over its nuclear programme.

He also insisted that the message was not, as initially reported by the local media, a reply to the world powers’ offer.

The message was just the text of Sunday’s phone contact between Solana and Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeid Jalili, he said.

The official added that Iran and the 5+1 (five UN veto powers - Russia, China, the US, Britain, France - plus Germany) would continue their talks upon previous agreements reached between the two sides.

Iran held a meeting with the world powers in Vienna July 19 where they offered the Islamic country an updated package of incentives in a bid to end the West’s long-running nuclear standoff.

The package, which is is a follow-up of an original proposal in 2006, offers nuclear cooperation and wider trade in aircraft, energy, high technology, and agriculture.

On Monday, the United States warned that Iran would face new Security Council sanctions if it did not accept the offer of fresh talks and incentives.

But, Tehran insists that there has been no deadline by the 5+1 for Iran to deliver a clear response to the world powers’ offer and just wants the talks to be continued and settled through both the 5+1 and Iranian proposals.

The news agency also reported that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief inspector Olli Heinonen would arrive in Tehran Thursday for a three-day visit for holding talks with Iranian officials on behalf of IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

However, it was not clear whether Heinonen and his team would inspect nuclear sites in Iran.

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