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Iran Offers Snap Inspections, Russia Tells Tehran to Halt Enrichment

An Iranian official says Tehran is ready for a conditional return to what he calls "intrusive" nuclear inspections, but Russia is urging Iran to halt all uranium enrichment activity.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki Saturday in a telephone call that Tehran must cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and halt uranium enrichment.

Earlier Saturday, Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, told state television Tehran would continue enriching uranium but allow short-notice inspections if the U.N. Security Council dropped the issue, returning the case to the IAEA.

Iran barred the inspections in February after being referred to the Security Council over its nuclear activities.

In a report to the Council Friday, the IAEA said Tehran has not been forthcoming about its nuclear activities. Western countries suspect Iran is seeking to build atomic weapons - a charge Tehran denies.

The foreign ministers of the Security Council's five permanent members and Germany are scheduled to meet May 9 in New York to discuss Iran's nuclear program.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

 

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