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Iran to Open Nuclear Sites to Foreign Tourists


Iranian state media say the government plans to open its nuclear facilities to foreign tourists to help prove that Iran's atomic program is peaceful.

An Iranian tourism official, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered the government to make preparations for inviting tourists to visit nuclear sites.

But he gave no details about what foreign tourists would be able to see at the facilities, or when the visits would begin. It is also unclear who would fit Iran's definition of a foreign tourist.

So far, only United Nations atomic inspectors and reporters have been able to visit Iran's nuclear sites.

The United States and its European allies have accused Iran of enriching uranium to develop nuclear weapons.

U.S. and British officials warned Iran Tuesday it could soon face sanctions if it refuses to suspend enrichment, as called for by the U.N. Security Council.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters in Cairo that time is running out for the international community to take action against Iran.

A senior British official, who asked not to be identified, told media outlets in London that preparations are already under way to draft a Security Council resolution that will impose the sanctions.

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