January 7, 2006

UN experts arrive in Iran to oversee atomic work

TEHRAN (Reuters) - U.N. atomic inspectors have arrived in
Iran to supervise Tehran's resumption of nuclear fuel research,
a senior Iranian official said on Saturday.

"Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency
arrived in Tehran last night," Hossein Entezami, spokesman of
the Supreme National Security Council, told Reuters.

"The research will be started in co-ordination with the
agency," he added.

Iran's decision to resume atomic fuel research has drawn
fire from the United States and Europe, which suspect Tehran
could be secretly working on nuclear arms. Tehran denies the

European diplomats speculate resuming research on nuclear
fuel could amplify calls for Iran to be sent to the U.N.
Security Council for possible sanctions.

It is not exactly clear what Iran's nuclear fuel research
will entail -- whether it will just be tests on equipment or
actually involve small amounts of uranium being enriched in a
laboratory environment.

Washington has said a resumption of nuclear fuel research
would signal Tehran was not interested in a diplomatic solution
to the nuclear dispute.

Much of the international community has called on Iran to
give up its work on nuclear fuel and send its uranium to Russia
to be enriched there.

Iran insists the fuel needed for its nuclear power station
at the southern port of Bushehr must be produced domestically.