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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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IAEA Keeps Suspect Iranian Base in Sights

The International Atomic Energy Agency could spot remnants from nearly any past activities involving atomic substances, acting and retired personnel said as the U.N. organization prepared a new push to inspect an Iranian armed forces site alleged to have housed nuclear weapon-related experiments, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The nuclear watchdog is set in a May 15 meeting with Iran to seek a trip to the Parchin facility as well as agreement on ground rules for a broader probe of possible Iranian activities relevant to pursuit of an atomic arsenal. Tehran, which insists its nuclear efforts are purely peaceful, did not reach deals with the agency in nine gatherings held since early last year.

Meanwhile, former Israeli military intelligence head Amos Yadlin urged six world powers to seek a wide-ranging nuclear compromise with Iran rather than pursue an incremental strategy, al-Monitor reported. The sides failed to break new ground in talks last month.

Yadlin said the international community could "recognize [Iran's] right to enrich” if the nation halted generation of 20 percent-enriched uranium and shipped existing stocks of the material overseas. The United States and other nations worry that generation of higher-enriched material is a key step toward Iranian production of weapon-grade uranium with an enrichment level of about 90 percent.

“I’m not asking him (Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) to sing Hatikvah (the Israeli national anthem) twice a day,” he said.

Former Obama WMD czar Gary Samore, though, said a "big-for-big" approach "is doomed to fail.”

“We are not prepared to make big concessions [such as] an unrestrained enrichment program under the IAEA, which is what Iran wants,” he said.

Tehran intends to construct a new atomic research factory by the middle of 2012, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization head Fereidoun Abbasi said on Sunday in comments quoted by the state-run Fars News Agency.

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