Iran to agree to inspections of nuclear sites, official says

December 18, 2003|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran will sign the agreement to allow intrusive inspections of its nuclear sites today, Vice President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh told reporters yesterday.

Aghazadeh, who is also the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said signing the agreement would demonstrate Iran's commitment to peaceful uses of nuclear power.

"Iran has decided to sign the protocol to prove that Iranian nuclear program is for civilian purposes," he told the Islamic Republic News Agency. "Signing the protocol will also end the propaganda campaign against the nuclear program."

On Oct. 21, Iran agreed under international pressure to sign the additional protocol to the nonproliferation treaty. During a visit by the foreign ministers of Britain, Germany and France, Iran agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment program and allow unfettered inspections, but it demanded technical cooperation for its peaceful nuclear program.

Aghazadeh called on the three European countries yesterday to honor this promise and help release nuclear equipment that Iran has purchased.

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