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Iran hosts IAEA safety delegation

A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has arrived in Tehran to assess the country’s nuclear safety system, an Iranian nuclear official says.

The group of “senior officials from the IAEA’s Nuclear Safety & Security department” has arrived in the county, Ali Shirzadian, a spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said on Sunday.

“The IAEA experts will be staying in Iran for about two weeks,” he continued.

The Department of Nuclear Safety and Security contributes to efforts to achieve and maintain a high level of nuclear safety and prepare for emergencies through the enhancement of national measures and international cooperation.

Iran, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says its nuclear program is directed at civilian applications of the technology. The West, however, accuses the country of conducting a covert military nuclear program, particularly since earlier this month Iran started to enrich uranium to the 20-percent level.

On Thursday, the new head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Yukiya Amano, issued a two-sided report about Iran’s nuclear program.

The report, while critical of some aspects of Iran’s uranium enrichment, once again verified the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in the country.

“The information available to the Agency is extensive… broadly consistent and credible in terms of the technical detail, the time frame in which the activities were conducted and the people, and organizations involved,” the Vienna-based IAEA said in the report.

The report, however, called on Tehran to further discuss and cooperate on the issue of the alleged studies. “Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities,” it added.

Iran’s envoy to the UN atomic watchdog said the concern expressed in the Agency’s latest report is “groundless,” as it is not based on any new information.

“It seems that unsubstantiated allegations that certain countries had previously made about Iran have once again been introduced in this report,” Tehran’s Ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told ISNA on Friday.

“Issues pertaining to the ‘alleged studies, missiles and explosives’ are worn-out topics, which have already been dismissed in ElBaradei’s reports. They are not anything new,” he added.

He then went on to imply that the IAEA’s decision to reintroduce past issues and take a different tone was the direct result of a change in its leadership, and not the outcome of not an unbiased evaluation.

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