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Iran OKs 'Managed Access' to Sites     05/24 07:27

   Iran has agreed to grant United Nations inspectors "managed access" to 
military sites as part of a future deal over its contested nuclear program, a 
negotiator said Sunday, apparently contradicting earlier comments by the 
nation's supreme leader.

   TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran has agreed to grant United Nations inspectors 
"managed access" to military sites as part of a future deal over its contested 
nuclear program, a negotiator said Sunday, apparently contradicting earlier 
comments by the nation's supreme leader.

   Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi's comments, carried by state 
television, came after he and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended a 
reportedly stormy closed session of parliament.

   "Iran has agreed to grant managed access to military sites," state TV quoted 
Araghchi as saying Sunday.

   Lawmaker Ahmad Shoohani, a member of parliament's National Security and 
Foreign Policy Committee who attended the closed-door session, said restricted 
inspections of military sites will be carried out under strict control and 
specific circumstances.

   "Managed access will be in a shape where U.N. inspectors will have the 
possibility of taking environmental samples from the vicinity of military 
sites," Shoohani said.

   Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed Wednesday to not allow 
international inspection of Iran's military sites or access to Iranian 
scientists under any nuclear agreement. Iran's military leaders also angrily 
have refused such demands. The state TV report did not elaborate on Araghchi's 
comments apparently contradicting those two powerful forces in the Iranian 
government.

   Iran and six world powers --- the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and 
Germany --- hope to work out terms of a final nuclear deal before a June 30 
deadline. Inspection of military sites suspected to be taking part in the 
nuclear program is a top priority of the U.S.

   The West fears Iran's program could allow it to build a nuclear weapon. Iran 
says its program is for peaceful purposes.

   The broadcast also quoted Araghchi as saying Iranian negotiators rejected 
demands that its scientists be interviewed.

   "Americans are after interviewing our nuclear scientists. We didn't accept 
it," state TV quoted him as saying.

   Iran's nuclear scientists have been the targets of attacks before both 
inside the Islamic Republic and elsewhere. The country also views the 
interviews as tantamount to a criminal interrogation.


(KA)


 
 
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