UN experts to discuss Iran's uranium enrichment facilities
( RIA Novosti ) - UN experts arrive in Iran on Monday for talks on the Islamic Republic's controversial uranium enrichment activities, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) said citing a reliable source.
" Iran's talks with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] on the issue will take place at an expert level and last two days," the non-official news agency reported.
The news agency said the UN nuclear watchdog experts were looking to discuss Iran's gas centrifuges, used to enrich uranium, which is needed both in power generation and weapons production.
Tehran has repeatedly said it plans to increase the number of operating centrifuges from the current 3,000 to 50,000 at its Natanz facility in central Iran to become independent from nuclear fuel imports.
The UN Security Council has passed two rounds of sanctions against Iran over its defiance to halt the enrichment of uranium, which Western powers fear the Islamic Republic needs to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran, which has denied the accusation, called the sanctions illegal.
However, since early summer talks between Iran's top security official, Ali Larijani, and IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, Tehran has allowed two inspections of its 40-MW heavy water nuclear reactor in Arak, potentially able to produce weapons-grade plutonium, despite denying access to the site after the second set of sanctions in March.
In an attempt to avoid tougher sanctions, Iran held a series of other talks with the UN in August, with ElBaradei confirming that the plutonium issue had been resolved, but urging more efforts from Tehran to prove its nuclear program is peaceful.
Iranian leaders have continued to insist on the right to enrich uranium under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.