x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Iran to co-operate with IAEA

Iran says it will give the UN nuclear watchdog a timetable for inspecting its second uranium enrichment plant.

Iran will soon give the UN nuclear watchdog a timetable for inspecting its second uranium enrichment plant, its atomic chief said in an interview posted on the website of state-owned Press TV on Tuesday. "Iran will inform very soon IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) about a timetable for its visits to the second enrichment plant," Ali Akbar Salehi told the English-language channel. The IAEA said on Friday that Iran had disclosed to it on September 21 that it was building a second uranium enrichment plant near the central holy city of Qom.

The disclosure sparked a chorus of international criticism just days ahead of high-profile talks in Geneva on Thursday between Iran and six world powers on its controversial nuclear programme. Mr Salehi said the world reaction to the new plant was "baseless", but added Iran would try to resolve the issue both politically and technically at the Geneva meeting. He also reiterated that Tehran has no intention of making atomic weapons as suspected by the West.

It is "against our ethics and religion," he said. "It is against our tenets, it is against our religion to produce, use, hold or have nuclear weapons or arsenal. How can we more clearly state our position? Since 1974, we have been saying this," he said. *AFP