Senior agency official to visit Iran - IAEA chief

Iran Materials 27 April 2008 18:15 (UTC +04:00)
Senior agency official to visit   Iran - IAEA chief

( Iht.com ) - The head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog confirmed Sunday that a senior agency official will visit Iran again.

Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen will travel to the Middle Eastern country that is under scrutiny by the international community over alleged attempts to make nuclear weapons.

"Yes, he is going," ElBaradei said when asked by The Associated Press to confirm an Iranian news report. He declined to provide more details as he entered a Vienna hotel.

On Friday, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported that Heinonen would travel to Iran on Monday to discuss allegations that Tehran is secretly working to develop nuclear weapons. The report said Iran "will listen to the agency's views."

Tehran has denied ever trying to make nuclear weapons, insisting its nuclear program is purely peaceful and geared solely toward producing electricity. But U.S. intelligence agencies say Tehran experimented with weapons production until 2003 and other countries believe it continued past that date.

On Wednesday, the IAEA announced an agreement with Iran that aims to provide answers about the allegations.

Heinonen was in Tehran earlier this month for discussions with Iranian officials.