IAEA inspectors enter Iran to visit Gachin uranium mine

Photo: IAEA inspectors enter Iran to visit Gachin uranium mine / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 28

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

The inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in Iran to visit Gachin uranium mine, near the southern city of Bandar Abbas, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on Jan. 28.

Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Behrouz Kamalvandi went on to say that the three IAEA inspectors will visit the mine on Jan. 29.

The inspection is coordinated with Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, he said, adding that it will be within the framework of the "managed access."

Under the accord signed with the IAEA in November 2013, Iran agreed to give inspectors "managed access" within the next three months to two key nuclear sites: the country's main uranium mine at Gachin, and a plant that produces heavy water, a coolant to be used in Iran's Arak nuclear reactor. Western officials say the Arak facility, if completed, would provide a first step toward the production of plutonium, which can be used in nuclear weapons.

IAEA inspectors visited the Arak facility on Dec. 8 as part of the agreement.

On Jan. 20, the United States and the European Union suspended part of the sanctions against Iran after the IAEA confirmed earlier in the day that Iran had halted 20-percent uranium enrichment under the Geneva agreement.

On Jan. 12, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Russia, China, France, Britain, and the U.S. - plus Germany agreed on Jan. 20 as the date to start implementing the interim nuclear deal that the two sides struck in Geneva on November 24, 2013.

The accord is aimed at setting the stage for the full resolution of the decade-old standoff over Tehran's nuclear energy program.

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