Nuclear Inspection Procedure Unchanged

Nuclear  Inspection  Procedure  Unchanged
Nuclear  Inspection  Procedure  Unchanged

The spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said on Saturday the UN nuclear agency's procedure for carrying out inspections of nuclear facilities has not changed, denying media reports that Tehran has agreed under the terms of an extended interim deal to grant international inspectors expanded access to its nuclear sites to conduct unannounced inspections.

"Inspections of Iran's peaceful nuclear program by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors will take place like in the past on a monthly basis," IRNA quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi as saying on Saturday.  Kamalvandi also said Iran will continue its nuclear research and development (R&D) program "routinely and with no limitation" during the seven-month extension period of the talks with the major powers on a final nuclear deal.

He also denied reports by foreign media that Iran has agreed to step up the conversion of its higher-grade enriched uranium into fuel plates for the Tehran research reactor and said, "That process will also continue without any change."

"The terms of the extended agreement will remain valid until the end of June without any addition."

Iran and the major powers missed a November 24 target date to work out a comprehensive nuclear deal and extended their negotiations for seven more months until June 30, 2015.  

As a result, the interim accord they signed in Geneva late last year will remain in place during the seven-month period.  Under the preliminary deal, Iran agreed to temporarily scale down parts of its nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The Geneva deal says Tehran could continue its "current enrichment R&D (research and development) practices."

Kamalvandi's comments came after the Associated Press claimed in a report on Friday that the Obama administration has won significant concessions from Iran for extending nuclear talks, including "promises by the Islamic Republic to allow snap inspections of its facilities and to neutralize much of its remaining uranium stockpile."

According to the report, the White House is telling the members of Congress, "Tehran won't be able to pursue the industrial-scale operation needed for any breakout effort toward producing enough material for a nuclear weapon."

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said last week that the structure of Iran’s nuclear program will remain intact under any deal. He said, "In the talks, we have not backed away from the structure of Iran's nuclear program," adding, "Iran's nuclear program will be moving forward until it reaches an industrial scale."

The West has claimed that Iran may have been seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program. Tehran denies the allegation, saying its nuclear work is meant only for peaceful purposes, such as power generation.

AP also said Iran has agreed to "turn 35 kilograms of higher-enriched uranium oxide stocks into fuel." In addition, the US administration says Iran will grant international inspectors expanded access to its centrifuge production facilities, allowing the UN nuclear agency to double the amount of visits it makes to sites and to undertake unannounced or "snap" inspections.

Elsewhere AP claimed Iran has undertaken to "Refrain from any other forms of enrichment, including through the use of laser technology."