Iran says to set date for IAEA visit to uranium mine

Iran will set a date for a UN nuclear inspection of a uranium mine, anIranian envoy said before talks on Wednesday between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA).

Under a cooperation pact signed last month to help allay internationalconcern about Iran's nuclear program, the Islamic Republic would provide"managed access" to the Gchine mine by early February for the firsttime in some eight years.

The IAEA-Iran agreement is separate from a breakthrough accord between Iranand six world powers reached on Nov. 24 to curb Tehran's nuclear program in return for a limited easingof sanctions that have battered the country's economy.

But both deals signaled a rapid thaw in Iran's troubled ties with theoutside world, made possible by the election of a relative moderate, HassanRouhani, as president on a platform of ending Iran's international isolation.

Iran has moved quickly since Rouhani took office in August to improverelations with the West after years of confrontation under his hardlinepredecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran denies accusations it isseeking to develop atomic bombs.

Asked whether a date for the Gchine visit would be agreed during talks thatgot under way at around 10 a.m. at the IAEA's Vienna headquarters, Iranian envoy Reza Najafi told reporters: "We will discussthat."

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