Iran has granted U.N. nuclear inspectors new access to a high-security military site as part of efforts to avoid referral to the Security Council, diplomats said Wednesday. At the same time, one of the diplomats said Tehran has told the IAEA that it will soon resume uranium conversion, the step before uranium enrichment, which can produce either nuclear energy or the fissile core of weapons.
The two developments sent conflicting signals to an international community concerned about Iran's nuclear agenda.
They showed Iran was unwilling to meet international calls to give up enrichment and all linked activities even while casting the country as conciliatory and ready to cooperate with IAEA inspectors probing its past nuclear activities.
The last meeting of the 35-nation IAEA board told Iran in September to suspend all uranium enrichment related activities including conversion and to give agency experts access to research, experts, locations and documents or face Security Council referral. Iran has stopped at conversion but insists it has the right to the next stage, enrichment, according to the AP.
The diplomats said experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency were allowed to revisit Parchin as they try to establish whether Tehran has a secret nuclear weapons program.
Parchin has been linked by the United States and other nations to alleged experiments linked to nuclear arms. The IAEA had for months been trying to follow up on a visit in January for further checks of buildings and areas within the sprawling military complex as it looks for traces of radioactivity.
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