UN Arrives in Iran for Tense Talks

Nuclear inspectors hope to meet scientists, visit military complex
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 20, 2012 7:53 AM CST
UN Arrives in Iran for Tense Talks
Herman Nackaerts, of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaks to reporters at the airport in Vienna, Sunday, Feb. 19 2012.   ((AP Photo / APTN) TV OUT)

(Newser) – UN nuclear inspectors starting a two-day visit to Tehran today sought to meet Iranian nuclear scientists and visit a key military facility as they try to gauge allegations that Iran is pushing toward making an atomic weapon. The trip is the second in less than a month by the International Atomic Energy Agency team, reflecting growing concerns over alleged weapons experiments—something Iran has so far both denied and refused to discuss.

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A senior UN nuclear official said yesterday he hoped for progress in the talks, but his careful choice of words suggested little expectation the meeting will be successful. Iran's state radio said the inspectors hope to visit the Parchin military complex outside of Tehran, which has been suspected of housing a secret underground facility used for Iran's nuclear program, a claim denied by Iranian authorities. The tone of the commentary suggested the Parchin visit would likely be denied. The IAEA visit comes as Iran last week announced what it called "key" advancements in its nuclear program. (Read more United Nations stories.)

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