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Iran Reacts To Snap Nuclear Inspections Call


An Iranian official has reacted to comments by the head of the UN nuclear agency demanding snap inspections of Iran's nuclear sites.

Six world powers and Iran are facing an end-of-the-month deadline to reach a framework agreement to limit Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Tehran denies it is developing a nuclear weapon, as the West suspects.

Earlier this month Yukiya Amano, the head of the the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said Tehran should agree to snap inspections to reassure the international community.

Iran's nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said Amano's comments harm the delicate negotiations.

"It would be much better if Amano only talked about the IAEA's seasonal and monthly reports," he said, according to state TV on March 24.

Last June, Kamalvandi said Iran may accept snap inspections as part of a final nuclear agreement.

The latest round of nuclear negotiations ended in Lausanne on March 20 after six days of discussions among representatives of Iran, the United States and the European Union.

At a UN Security Council briefing by the Iran sanctions committee on March 24, French Ambassador Francois Delattre said progress in the negotiations "at this point is not sufficient."

Britain's deputy ambassador Peter Wilson warned that "we will not agree to a bad deal" and said Iran must show greater flexibility and make tough decisions in the days ahead.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said any deal reached will be "linked to a thorough review" of the UN sanctions regime on Iran.

The talks are to resume on March 25.

Among the unresolved issues meant to be part of an agreement is a ruling by the IAEA on whether Iran worked on nuclear arms in the past.

Tehran denies that, but the agency says it has information suggesting otherwise.

Based on reporting by AP
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