Iran plays down return of UN inspectors

Iran Materials 27 April 2008 11:26 (UTC +04:00)

Iran on Sunday played down the return visit of inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog to Tehran and said that the talks would only be within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the dpa reported.

In a press briefing in Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini rejected remarks by IAEA diplomats in Vienna that the aim of the visit of the IAEA delegation headed by chief inspector Olli Heinonen would be to discuss intelligence alleging Iran pursued nuclear weapons studies.

"We have already clarified our stance on the allegations, and talks with the IAEA would therefore just be within the framework of the IAEA and NPT," the spokesman said.

Heinonen was in Tehran earlier this week, but Tehran insisted that the visit was just routine and rejected Western press reports that the talks were solely focused on the new allegations.

The IAEA inspectors reportedly want answers from Tehran regarding intelligence received from Western member states on alleged studies of uranium conversion, high explosives testing and work on a missile re-entry vehicle, which all have potential nuclear weapons applications.