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Iran, IAEA resolve inspection row

  • Story Highlights
  • Iran to allow U.N. weapons inspectors to visit its heavy water research reactor
  • Move is new development in IAEA's struggle to resolve Iran's nuclear issues
  • Tehran insists its nuclear program is meant for peaceful energy production
  • Uranium enriched to high degree can also be used for weapons grade material
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(CNN) -- Iran will allow United Nations weapons inspectors to visit its heavy water research reactor by the end of July, an International Atomic Energy Agency statement says.

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The Bushehr nuclear power plant in the Iranian Persian Gulf port of Bushehr, 1,200 kilometers south of Tehran.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog also said it would finalize plans on how to deal with safeguards at Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant by early August.

Friday's announcement marks a new development in the IAEA's ongoing struggle to resolve Iran's controversial nuclear issues.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is meant for peaceful energy production, but uranium enriched to a high degree can also be used for weapons grade material.

In recent months weapons inspectors have reported difficulty in clearing up mysteries about the scope and purpose of Iran's nuclear program and outstanding questions about Iran's past program.

The IAEA on Friday said these agreements, which were struck earlier this week following meetings in Iran, were aimed at clarifying issues "associated with the scope and content of Iran's enrichment program."

Those issues, the agency said, will be discussed in more detail during a meeting slated to be held later this month in Vienna.

The new developments come nearly a year after Iran ignored a U.N.-set deadline to stop its uranium enrichment program. In response, the U.N. Security Council has so far imposed two rounds of limited sanctions on Iran.

Nevertheless, Iran not only ignored the call to halt its nuclear work but also increased its activities, according to an IAEA report issued in late May.

The report also detailed how IAEA's "level of knowledge of certain aspects of Iran's nuclear-related activities has deteriorated." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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