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Iran Denies Blocking UN Inspectors From Nuclear Site


http://gdb.rferl.org/B5A68D8C-ADEF-4478-8ADC-B54B8DFA948D_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/B5A68D8C-ADEF-4478-8ADC-B54B8DFA948D_mw800_mh600.jpg Iran's IAEA representative Ali Asghar Soltanieh (epa) May 11, 2007 -- Iran today denied accusations that it has blocked UN inspectors from making an unannounced visit to an underground nuclear site.


Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, says there are no problems with visits by the inspectors.


Soltanieh was responding to complaints by diplomats who said Tehran was not allowing UN inspectors to check Tehran's claims that its nuclear program is only for peaceful civilian purposes.


The UN Security Council has imposed two rounds of sanctions on Iran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment work, which could produce material for use in nuclear weapons.


(AFP, IRNA)

Talking Technical

A control panel at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (Fars)

CASCADES AND CENTRIFUGES: Experts and pundits alike continue to debate the goals and status of Iran's nuclear program. It remains unclear whether the program is, as Tehran insists, a purely peaceful enegy project or, as the United States claims, part of an effort to acquire nuclear weapons.
On June 7, 2006, RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel spoke with nuclear expert Shannon Kile of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden to help sort through some of the technical issues involved. "[Natanz] will be quite a large plant," Kile said. "There will be about 50,000 centrifuges and how much enriched uranium that can produce [is] hard to say because the efficiency of the centrifuges is not really known yet. But it would clearly be enough to be able to produce enough [highly-enriched uranium] for a nuclear weapon in fairly short order, if that's the route that they chose to go...." (more)


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THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


CHRONOLOGY

An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.

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