ElBaradei visits Iran

Published February 21st, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency arrived in Tehran Friday to begin inspecting nuclear facilities which Washington says could be used to produce nuclear weapons, an Iranian atomic energy official said. 

 

Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, was due to visit two plants being built near the towns of Natanz and Arak and to hold talks with President Mohammad Khatami. 

 

Iran has repeatedly said its nuclear program is intended purely to meet the growing energy demands. 

 

Meanwhile, an Iranian opposition group has released what it says is new evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. Officials of the United Nations nuclear monitoring group plans to investigate the claims.  

 

Representative Soona Samsami of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, gave reporters directions to what she says is a uranium enrichment project near the town of Ab-Ali, not far from the Iranian capital, Tehran. But she says you may not recognize it. "It has been registered as a watch making factory," she said.  

 

Ms. Samsami's group held a news conference in Washington Thursday to present their latest evidence on what they say is Iran's nuclear weapons program. (Albawaba.com)

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