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Iran invites UN atom chief to see its nuclear sites

Source : Reuters
Tehran | 21 Jun 2011

Iran's nuclear energy chief said on Tuesday he had invited the head of the U.N. atomic agency to visit the Islamic state's nuclear facilities.

The rare meeting in Vienna between Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani and Director General Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) follows increasingly strained ties between Tehran and the U.N. body over the last year.

Abbasi-Davani, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, said the two sides pledged to resolve their problems through more dialogue in future.

"We don't have differences of view," he told reporters.

But he did not give any details on what was discussed.

An IAEA official confirmed the meeting took place but declined to elaborate. The two men met on the sidelines of a major international nuclear safety meeting in Vienna.

Fereydoun-Abbasi also made clear his irritation at the agency, accusing it of preventing some of the country's nuclear experts from attending scientific meetings.

"We have objected and protested," Abbasi-Davani said. "We consider this kind of act as an ugly and inhuman act."

Abbasi-Davani said he had invited Amano "and his colleagues to come to visit anywhere they like in all our nuclear installations". He spoke in Farsi and his comments were translated into English by Iran's IAEA envoy.

It was unclear whether any such visit would include the kind of access to officials, documents and sites the IAEA wants. Iran has invited IAEA-accredited diplomats to tour its nuclear facilities, but Western envoys have dismissed such offers.

A nuclear scientist, Abbasi-Davani was appointed head of Iran's atomic agency earlier this year, a few months after he was slightly wounded in a 2010 bomb attack which Tehran blamed on Israel.


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