Iran has given reporters a rare glimpse into a key nuclear plant that the United States and Europe want permanently closed.

Some 50 reporters accompanied President Mohammad Khatami Wednesday, on a tour of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility south of Tehran.

They were shown a vast, empty underground hall that Iranian officials said is designed to house thousands of enrichment centrifuges. Outside, dozens of anti-aircraft weapons guarded the facility.

Officials said all enrichment activities have been suspended at the site, which the International Atomic Energy Agency regularly monitors.

The tour was to continue later in the day at a uranium conversion plant near Isfahan.

The United States and Europe want Iran to permanently stop enriching uranium - which in certain forms can be used to fuel nuclear weapons. But Iran says it is only pursuing the technology to produce electricity.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.