TEHRAN, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - Inspectors from the UN's nuclear watchdog will remove seals from equipment at two facilities in Iran on Monday or Tuesday, an Iranian news agency reported.
The FARS news agency, citing a source close to the proceedings, said a group of 12 inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency would remove the seals at the Isfahan nuclear center and the Natanz uranium enrichment center, allowing technical work with these facilities to begin.
On January 10, IAEA inspectors said Iran had started to remove IAEA seals in the presence of inspectors on enrichment-related equipment and material at the Natanz facility, and at two related storage and testing locations, Pars Trash and Farayand Technique. The move sparked an international conflict around the Islamic republic's controversial nuclear program, as some countries suspect that the Islamic Republic is pursuing a covert arms program, though it has consistently denied this.
The source said that the IAEA inspectors in Iran would also demount surveillance cameras from several nuclear facilities that were installed in accordance with Iran's voluntary compliance with the additional protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
The additional protocol, which is not essential for the signing of the treaty, expands the rights of inspectors and extends the list of types of nuclear activity to be declared to the IAEA.
The source said the Iranian government had taken the decision to renew work with nuclear facilities in accordance with a parliamentary resolution, whereby parliament ordered the government to cease to comply with the protocol if the nuclear watchdog were to forward the country's nuclear file to the UN Security Council.
Iran signed the additional protocol to the NPT in November 2003 to increase confidence in its nuclear program. As the document has not yet been ratified by the country's parliament, Iran's compliance to it is entirely voluntary.
The IAEA's board of governors decided to inform the UN Security Council on Iran's nuclear program on February 4.