Non-aligned envoys tour Iran nuclear site

ISFAHAN, Iran (Reuters) – Six envoys representing the Non-Aligned Movement of developing nations visited a nuclear facility in Iran on Saturday as part of Tehran’s attempt to be open about its disputed atomic program.

The NAM diplomats, accredited to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, arrived for a tour of the site near the central Iranian city of Isfahan that converts uranium ore into feedstock uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas.

About 90 Iranian and foreign journalists were also taken to the facility in a barren area in the shadow of a mountain southeast of Isfahan. Anti-aircraft guns surrounded the site.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly working to make atomic bombs under cover of a civilian nuclear program to generate electricity. It has said putting Iran’s nuclear activities on display would not build confidence abroad.

“The aim of … this visit is to underline again the transparency of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities,” Hossein Simorgh, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told reporters at the site.

The envoys, who stay in Iran until Monday, are not due to visit the Natanz uranium enrichment site where UF6 gas is fed into centrifuges to make power plant fuel or, if greatly enriched, material for warheads.

The group comprises ambassadors from Egypt, Malaysia, Cuba, Algeria and Sudan, and a Syrian representing the Arab League.

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