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Iran agrees to allow in UN nuke inspectors

Annan, UN nuclear watchdog welcome Iran's agreement to allow inspectors

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed reports that Iran had told visiting European diplomats that it would allow UN inspectors unrestricted access to its nuclear facilities, and he urged the Iranian authorities to further cooperate to resolve all outstanding issues.

News reports today from Tehran indicated that the Government had told the Foreign Ministers from France, Germany and the United Kingdom that it would suspend uranium enrichment and allow unrestricted access for inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

A spokesperson for the Secretary-General said that Mr. Annan "welcomes the declaration agreed in Tehran today by the Iranian Government and visiting EU Foreign Ministers regarding the nuclear programme of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He encourages the Iranian authorities to further cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency to resolve all outstanding issues with the Agency."

The spokesperson, Hua Jiang, also said that the IAEA labelled the news from Tehran, "an encouraging sign toward clarifying all aspects of Iran's past nuclear programme and regulating its future activities through verification."

IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei "hopes and expects that in the next few days Iran will deliver to the IAEA a complete declaration of all its past nuclear activities and an official notification of its readiness to conclude an Additional Protocol," she added.

Last week during a visit to Tehran, Mr. ElBaradei received assurances that Iran would provide the IAEA with a full disclosure of all its past nuclear activities, and the Iranian Government also expressed its readiness to conclude an Additional Protocol.

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