TEHRAN,(Reuters) – An Iranian nuclear official said on Saturday the United Nations nuclear watchdog has completed the installation of surveillance cameras at its underground nuclear plant.
The official, who asked not to be named, said the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had full supervision of the underground section of the Natanz complex through monitoring and inspections. “The installation of cameras, which had started from last week, ended in the past two days,” the official told Reuters.
IAEA officials in Vienna were not available for comment.
Some Vienna-based western diplomats said on Feb. 2 that Iran had refused to let IAEA inspectors set up the cameras in Natanz where Iran is set to begin expanding enrichment of nuclear fuel. They reported efforts were underway to resolve the issue.
Another senior Iranian official said Iran wanted to display its transparency by allowing the IAEA to install the cameras. “We have nothing to hide. The West wants confidence building measures, here it is,” the official said.
Some western diplomats said last week that Iran had begun installing 3,000 centrifuges to step up uranium enrichment, which can be used to run power plants or to detonate atomic bombs. Iran has not confirmed it yet.
The U.N. Security Council, which banned transfers of nuclear materials and knowhow to Iran on Dec. 23, has given Tehran until Feb. 21 to stop enriching uranium or face broader sanctions.
The West says Iran is trying to build atomic bombs but Tehran says it only wants to make fuel for nuclear power plants.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran would celebrate its nuclear achievements on Sunday, the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, prompting talk that Tehran might say it had begun installing 3,000 centrifuges at the Natanz facility. But some officials, including chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, have suggested festivities would focus on public rallies rather than announcing an expansion of atomic work that would hasten more penalties in the nuclear standoff. Larijani said in Munich on Saturday that Iran still believed that the nuclear dispute can be resolved by negotiations. Larijani is expected to meet EU officials in Munich.