Iran to allow IAEA inspectors to visit Parchin military complex

Posted on March 6, 2012

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Following the International Atomic Energy Agency’s quarterly meeting, Iran will grant the U.N. nuclear watchdog access to its Parchin military complex, ISNA news agency reported.

A date for the possible visit to Parchin complex was not revealed.

Parchin military complex is believed to be the place where Tehran pursued high explosives research relevant to nuclear weapons.

An International Atomic Energy Agency report last year said that Iran had built a large containment chamber at Parchin, southeast of Tehran, to conduct explosives tests that are “strong indicators” of efforts to develop an atom bomb.

The IAEA requested access to Parchin during high-level talks in Tehran in February, however no permission from Iran was given.

Western suspicions about activities at Parchin date back to at least 2004, when a prominent nuclear expert assessed that satellite images showed it might be a site for research and experiments applicable to nuclear weapons.

IAEA inspectors did in fact visit Parchin in 2005 but did not see the place where the U.N. watchdog now believes the explosives chamber was built.

The IAEA named Parchin in a detailed report in November that lent independent weight to Western fears that Iran is working to develop an atomic bomb, an allegation Iranian officials deny.

Agency chief Yukiya Amano said Monday Iran has tripled its monthly production of higher-grade enriched uranium and the U.N. nuclear watchdog had “serious concerns” about possible military dimensions to Tehran’s atomic activities.

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