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Iran Accepts New UN Inspections Starting Next Week

Iran Accepts New UN Inspections Starting Next Week, IAEA Chief Reports

Iran will accept the return of weapons experts from the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency later this month, its Director-General announced today in Washington, D.C.

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said: "I was informed this morning by the Iranian authorities that a new date for the next round of IAEA inspections would be 27 March."

While voicing regret that this represents some delay, he said it was still within the Agency's timetable for conducting a probe.

Mr. ElBaradei also said that he hoped there would be no further postponement of any future inspections in Iran. "It is clearly in the interest of Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA and adopt a policy of proactive cooperation so that the IAEA can clarify outstanding issues as early as possible," he said.

On Saturday the IAEA Board of Governors, meeting in Vienna, adopted a strongly worded resolution on Iran's omissions in reporting its clandestine nuclear ambitions, calling on Tehran to take a number of steps to rectify the situation. Mr. ElBaradei is due to report back to the Board on the matter in May.

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