Iran says it will continue cooperating with United Nations nuclear inspectors, despite barring 38 of them from entering the country.
A government spokesman, Gholamhossein Elham, said Tuesday Iran has "no problem" with the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA. But he added "it is the legitimate right of all governments to screen inspectors."
Meanwhile, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns says the U.S. will not allow Iran to control the Middle East or the Persian Gulf. He said that is why the U.S. is sending a second U.S. aircraft carrier battle group to the region.
Also Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discussed the situation in an interview with Iranian television. He said the United States wants to hurt Iran, but that the U.S. military is not capable of inflicting serious damage on his country.
Iran's move to bar the inspectors follows a U.N. Security Council resolution last month imposing sanctions on Tehran because it refuses to suspend uranium enrichment.
IAEA officials have carried out regular inspections of Iran's nuclear sites in the past under the terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a signatory.
The West suspects Tehran of seeking to produce atomic weapons, which Iran denies.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.