Iran says that the invitation for international envoys to visit its nuclear sites is a gesture aimed at further transparency in the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, Press TV reported.
"Previously similar invitations were made after which envoys from a number of countries came to our country to visit the nuclear facilities," Iranian caretaker Foreign Minister
Ali Akbar Salehi said on Friday, IRNA reported.
Iran's invitation comes ahead of the multifaceted talks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US -- plus Germany (P5+1) scheduled for late January in Istanbul, Turkey.
"Now [as we stand] ahead of talks with the P5+1, we have reinstated our call (invitation) for representatives from a number of international organizations and countries to visit Iran's nuclear facilities," he said, describing the move as a goodwill gesture to the West.
Salehi insisted that it is an invitation extended to international organizations such as the Non-Alignment Movement and the European Union, rather than certain countries.
"Albeit an ambassador from a country might tour the nuclear sites, but this envoy in effect represents an agreed community," he concluded.
Earlier in the week, a number of Iranian lawmakers hailed the initiative as an efficient measure to inform the international community about the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear program and its commitment to peace.
Lawmakers added that the move will defuse massive media campaigns aimed at tarnishing Iran's image by further confirming that Tehran is acting in accordance with the International Atomic Energy Agency guidelines and therefore has no fear of inspection by international diplomats.