Iran could allow U.N. nuclear watchdog to visit military complex

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at nuclear plant

REPORTING FROM TEHRAN AND LOS ANGELES -- Iran announced Tuesday that it would allow International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to visit its Parchin military complex "one more time."

The words "one more time" imply that this could be a last chance for cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.

A statement from the Iranian envoy to the nuclear agency, published in Iranian media, said an inspection could be allowed after relevant details were settled.

"Given that Parchin is a military site, access to this facility is a time-consuming process, and visitation cannot be frequently carried out," the statement said, according to the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency.

The statement comes on the same day that the U.S., China, Russia and other key European nations offered to restart talks with Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

The IAEA raised concerns late last year that Iran may still be doing clandestine research on how to create a weapon. Last month, the agency complained that Iran was refusing to answer key questions about its nuclear program.

Iranian observers believe that the offer will persuade the U.N. not to issue a new resolution on its nuclear activities in the near future.

"We will cooperate again to give a chance to show our good intentions," said Sasdollah Zarei, a pro-regime columnist.

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-- Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and Emily Alpert in Los Angeles

Photo: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, second from left, visits a nuclear reactor Feb. 15. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency / Iranian Presidential Office website

 

 
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