Iran Says U.N. Can Inspect Arak Nuclear Site in Weeks

Iran on Tuesday said it would allow the United Nation's nuclear watchdog to inspect the country's new heavy-water nuclear reactor in the coming weeks, according to the Associated Press.

Western nations have been particularly concerned that the reactor in the city of Arak could be used to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran on Monday reached a deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency granting it some information on its nuclear activities, as well as access to the Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas and the Arak heavy-water plant over the next three months.

On Tuesday, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran's nuclear department, reportedly told the state-run IRNA news agency the Arak inspection could happen before Dec. 11 -- when the Persian Gulf nation and U.N. body plan to resume negotiations.

“If Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency reach an agreement on details of the inspection, then the visit can take place through coordination with [Iran's nuclear agency],” Kamalvandi told IRNA, according to The Hill newspaper.

The Iranian-IAEA deal struck Monday, notably, does not allow inspections of Iran's Parchin military base. IAEA officials have suspect that the site has hosted nuclear-relevant explosives tests and work on a nuclear-bomb trigger.

The talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency are separate from the country's ongoing negotiations with the "P-5+1" -- the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany. Those multinational talks -- including the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia -- will resume on Nov. 20.

Nov. 12, 2013
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Iran on Tuesday said it would allow the United Nation's nuclear watchdog to inspect the country's new heavy-water nuclear reactor in the coming weeks, according to the Associated Press.