Ashton: EU will not check Iran's nuclear sites

EU foreign policy chief says inspections are IAEA's job, but that she views Iran's invitation positively.

Catherine Ashton 311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Catherine Ashton 311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The European Union will reject Iran's offer to tour its nuclear site, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told Reuters on Friday.
"What I'll be saying is the role of the inspections of nuclear sites is for the IAEA, and I do hope Iran will insure that the IAEA is able to go and continue its work," Ashton reportedly said.
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She told Reuters that her "view is that though this is not an invitation that I'm taking a negative view of, it's not our job, and looking at the sites and establishing what they are is for inspectors."
Ashton made the remarks in Hungary, where she was meeting with Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi.
Earlier this week, Ashton discussed Iran with opposition leader Tzipi Livni.
"Europe's position against Iran must be resolute, so that Iran understands the world will no longer accept Teheran's shuffling around and lagging in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons," Livni said.
Ashton, however, hoped to focus the meeting on peace talks, saying "urgent progress is now needed towards a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace."
Ashton also met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad.