U.S. officials have accused Tehran of concealing parts of a clandestine atomic bomb program at Parchin military base southeast of Tehran ... Reuters
TEHRAN - U.N. atomic inspectors returned to Iran Tuesday and will be free to visit a disputed military site in their investigation of U.S. allegations that Iran is seeking nuclear warheads, state television reported.
U.S. officials have accused Tehran of concealing parts of a clandestine atomic bomb program at Parchin military base southeast of Tehran, a charge Iranian officials have dismissed.
"So far they have not requested a visit to Parchin, but should they want to do so, there will be no problem," Iran's top nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani told state television.
Iran says its nuclear program is solely dedicated to meeting booming domestic electricity demand.
Iran last month rejected a resolution from the International Atomic Energy Agency calling on it to reimplement its freeze of uranium enrichment activities as a sign of goodwill.
Enriched uranium can be used in power stations such as the one Iran is building with Russian assistance at Bushehr on the south coast, or in arms if enriched further.
Rohani reiterated Iran's tough stance.
"We clearly said we will not implement this part of the resolution because it has an obligatory tone," Rohani said.
"We implemented the suspension voluntarily," added the mid-ranking cleric who is secretary-general of the Supreme National Security Council.
Iran last year made a pledge to foreign ministers from Britain, France and Germany that it would suspend uranium enrichment activities.
But the pledge lapsed and Iran restarted making centrifuge parts and began experimental work at a plant that produces the feed gas for the centrifuges.
Centrifuges enrich uranium by spinning it at supersonic speed.
Recent nuclear wrangles have lacked "smoking gun" evidence against Iran, but diplomats reckon Tehran's case is likely to go to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions in November because of a litany of past failures to disclose key parts of its atomic program.
Israel has also cranked up pressure on Iran's nuclear program by buying in arms that target Iran's underground enrichment facilities.