IAEA welcomes Iran's willingness to sign nuclear fuel return agreement with Russia

Senior officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) welcome Iran's willingness to sign an additional accord with Russia on the return of spent nuclear fuel in exchange for fresh uranium fuel rods, a highly placed IAEA Secretariat official told RIA Novosti in Vienna after Iranian ambassador to Russia Gholamreza Shafee issued his statement that "the text of the document has already been agreed by both sides." IAEA officials reckon that representatives of the Agency, which is an important international organization facilitating the development of civilian uses of nuclear power and monitoring safety at nuclear facilities and which enjoys the confidence of Moscow, should attend the signing of the agreement.

The IAEA believes that the possible signing of the agreement between Russia and Iran could be "the first step toward Iran signing the additional protocol to the agreement between the IAEA and Iran, which would open up possibilities of Agency experts' inspections in that state." This would result in "world opinion knowing the true state of affairs in Tehran's atomic industry and the answer to the main question of whether Iran is engaged in developing its own nuclear programs to make an atomic bomb," the IAEA reckons.

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