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Iran To Grant Limited Access To Military Site

9 January 2005 -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said today that his country will allow the UN's nuclear watchdog to take environmental samples from outside a military site.

He said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be allowed to take samples from a landscaped area outside the huge Parchin military complex to eliminate all ambiguities over its controversial nuclear program.

The United States has alleged that the site southeast of Tehran is used for secret projects that could facilitate the development of a nuclear weapon.

"The discussion is not about visiting military installations," AP quoted Asefi as saying today. "To show that nothing other than peaceful nuclear activities are carried out in the Islamic Republic of Iran, we agreed to allow the taking of environmental samples from the green spaces in the complex."

The IAEA is expected to visit Parchin to take the samples in the next few days or weeks.

Asefi said Iran's decision to allow access of the site was made on a voluntary basis.