UN atomic chief to visit Iran to try to clear up nuclear questions

January 8, 2008 03:30

Chief UN nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei will fly to Iran this week, his spokeswoman said, in a visit that will overlap with US President George W Bush's Middle East tour. Diplomats, meanwhile, said Teheran has started sharing information about past programs the US says were attempts to make atomic arms. As head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, ElBaradei has spearheaded more than four years of international efforts to press Iran for full disclosure of its nuclear activities. ElBaradei spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said Monday he would visit Teheran Friday and Saturday "with a view of resolving all remaining outstanding issues and enabling the agency to provide assurance about Iran's past and present activities." She said ElBaradei would "meet with a number of high officials" but provided no other details in an e-mailed statement. A diplomat familiar with ElBaradei's itinerary who demanded anonymity because the information was confidential said, however, that the nuclear chief expected to meet with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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