UN Inspectors Get 1st Look at Iran Nuke Site

Will spend 3 days inside
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 25, 2009 12:41 PM CDT
Inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) leave the Imam Khomeini airport outside Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009.    (Vahid Salemi)
camera-icon View 7 more images

(Newser) – UN inspectors got their first look today inside Iran's once-secret uranium enrichment facility that has raised Western suspicions. The semiofficial Mehr news agency reported a four-member team visited the heavily protected facility at Qom, carved into a mountainside south of Tehran. The tour marked the first independent examination of the site, but no results were expected until after the inspectors leave Iran.

The inspectors are expected to stay three days while they compare Iran's engineering plans with the plant's actual layout, interview employees, and take environmental samples to check for the presence of nuclear materials. The review also coincides with the countdown to Iran's expected decision on whether to accept a UN-brokered deal to process its nuclear fuel abroad—a plan designed to ease Western fears about Iran's ability to produce weapons-grade material. Although Iran has not given its official answer on the proposed nuclear deal, there are increasing doubts that Iran's leadership will come on board.