x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

UN nuclear inspector in Iran killed in car crash

A UN nuclear inspector from South Korea is killed and a colleague was injured in a car crash near a reactor site in central Iran

TEHRAN // A UN nuclear inspector from South Korea was killed yesterday and a colleague was injured in a car crash near a reactor site in central Iran, news reports said.

There were no immediate indications of foul play. But the crash is likely to undergo intense scrutiny.

The official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported the International Atomic Energy Agency inspector died when the car overturned near a heavy water reactor being built in Khondab.

Iran has said the reactor - part of the Arak complex - will be used to produce isotopes for peaceful medical and industrial uses. But the US and others fear that spent fuel from the reactors could be reprocessed into plutonium for a warhead. Iran has denied it seeks nuclear weapons.

IRNA identified the dead inspector as Seo Ok-seok. There were conflicting reports on the identity of the other inspector, who was hospital.

The incident comes ahead of a round of technical discussions between Tehran and the IAEA to be held in Vienna on Sunday.

Higher-level negotiations also are planned this month in Baghdad between envoys from Iran and six world powers including the US.

Iran's nuclear agency issue a statement offering condolences to the nuclear watchdog as well as the victim's family

With some 26,000 casualties a year, Iran has one the highest per capita road deaths.