IAEA inspections going on as scheduled, says Iran

IAEA inspections going on as scheduled, says IranTehran - Inspections by an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team at the new nuclear site of Fordu were going on as scheduled, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Monday.

"The IAEA inspections (in Fordu) are going on as scheduled and we have no problems with that," Mottaki told reporters in Tehran.

The IAEA team on Sunday inspected the Fordu site, 100 kilometres south of the capital Tehran, and further inspections were planned for Monday, the Mehr news agency reported.

Mottaki said Iran was studying a proposed uranium-exchange deal with Russia, the United States and France.

"The draft made in Vienna (last week) is currently being evaluated by Iran and we will soon present our reply which will be in accordance with our national interests," Mottaki said.

Iran has to inform the IAEA whether it would agree with the deal to exchange its low-enriched (3.5 per cent) uranium from the Natanz facility with high-enriched (20 per cent) uranium from the three states, or rather purchase the enriched uranium separately.

In an interview Monday with official news agency IRNA, Mottaki said that Iran might take both options.

"We might purchase part of the fuel and at the same time deliver parts of our own low-enriched uranium," Mottaki told IRNA.

Mottaki rejected Western concerns and once again stressed that Iran was not after acquiring nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear programmes were solely for peaceful purposes.

"Our slogan is clear: peaceful nuclear technology for everyone and nuclear weapons for no one," the Iranian chief diplomat said. (dpa)