(TEHRAN, Iran) — Iran on Monday extended an invitation to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to stay beyond their three-day trip to monitor Iranian nuclear facilities.
The United Nations nuclear watchdog is visiting various nuclear sites in an attempt to verify the country’s claims that it is generating power for peaceful purposes. The West has long doubted this story, asserting that Tehran is close to developing an atomic bomb that threatens stability in the region.
As a result, the U.S. and Europe have slapped even tougher sanctions on Iran, which threatens its oil sales, the lifeblood of the nation.
That likely explains why Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said the IAEA delegation can remain in Iran longer to do their work. Furthermore, Salehi boasted that a “new atmosphere” has been created both from the visit and the possibility of renewed talks with six super powers to reach a resolution over Iran’s nuclear program.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ashley Fantz, AnneClaire Stapleton and Ed Payne, CNN Newswire
Faith Karimi and Chuck Johnston, CNN