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Iran invites IAEA ambassadors to visit two of its nuclear sites

[ 2011-01-05 12:56]     字号 [] [] []  
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Iran confirmed on Tuesday it had invited some ambassadors accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to visit its nuclear facilities, but didn't specify whether the diplomat from United States was among those invited.

The representatives of some European Union countries, the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement), and some representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, also called five-plus-one, have been invited to visit the nuclear sites, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at a news briefing.

Mehmanparast said Iran would identify the invited countries at a later time, but added that it appears that not all the "five-plus-one" nations received invitations.

A diplomat familiar with the invitation said the US and some other Western powers in the group were not invited.

In a letter made available on Monday to The Associated Press, senior Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh suggested the weekend of Jan 15 and 16 for the tour and added that meetings "with high ranking officials" are envisaged.

China has received Iran's invitation, and will maintain its communications with Iran on the matter, said China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei at a regular news briefing on Tuesday.

Hong said China expects all parties to value the results of the Geneva talks, and to push for constant progress in the dialogue process in the spirit of cooperation, flexibility and pragmatism.

China urges all parties to seek common ground and calls for joint efforts to settle the Iran nuclear issue, Hong added.

Russia's Foreign Ministry also said it was aware of the Iranian announcement, though Russia hasn't yet received any official invitation.

"Iran's invitation shows that it is not walking away from communication with the international community on its nuclear issue," said Yin Gang, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Mehmanparast said the visit would take place before a meeting between Iran and the six powers in Istanbul.

Teheran and the consulting powers had agreed on the meeting in the previous round of talks, which was held in Geneva on Dec 6 and 7 after a hiatus of 14 months.

The talks are aimed at ascertaining that whether Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, or is indeed looking only to meet the energy needs of its growing population, AFP reported.

Iran's envoy to the IAEA said that the tour will bring ambassadors to the Natanz uranium enrichment facility and the Arak heavy water reactor, two sites at the heart of dispute between Iran and the West.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Iran invites IAEA ambassadors to visit two of its nuclear sites

Iran invites IAEA ambassadors to visit two of its nuclear sites

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.