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29 Sep, 2009 15:56

Iran makes first move to resolving nuclear issues

Iran’s envoy to the UN told Secretary General Ban Ki-moon it was ready to admit UN nuclear inspectors to its new uranium enrichment plant. The country is expected to issue a timetable for inspecting the facility.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of parroting Western criticism of Iran’s new uranium enrichment facility instead of waiting for a report from the IAEA.

Earlier, Iran claimed it built its newly-revealed enrichment site inside a mountain to protect it from a possible attack.

Tehran has also held two days of missile tests, adding to current tensions with the West. The missiles tested are capable of reaching Israel and US bases in the Persian Gulf.

Washington has described the firing as provocative, while Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov voiced concern over Iran’s missile tests following a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki, at the United Nations.

Tehran, however, claims the launches are part of routine military exercises.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has urged that a general discussion on the Iranian nuclear problem begins.

“There’s no need to succumb to emotions, kicking the talks off is the main priority,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

International talks on Iran's nuclear program are due to kick off in Geneva on Thursday.

“Among other things, allegations over the creation of a new uranium enrichment plant need to be investigated. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been granted all the authority required to fulfill that mission,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry also said in its statement.

Later on, Iran expressed readiness to grant access to the new plant, despite an earlier Reuters report claiming that it refuses to discuss the new enrichment plant, citing a representative of the Iranian authorities.

Read also Russia turns its back on Iran