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Iran vows to sign nuclear protocol

Iran says its nuclear facility at Arak, shown in this satellite photo, is for peaceful uses only.
Iran says its nuclear facility at Arak, shown in this satellite photo, is for peaceful uses only.

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TEHRAN, Iran (Reuters) -- Iran will sign the so-called Additional Protocol that allows snap inspections of nuclear sites in the next few days, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Saturday.

Asked when Iran would sign the protocol, he told reporters: "In the next few days."

The government gave the go-ahead earlier this week for the country to sign the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Iran has come under concerted international pressure to sign the document in recent months to dispel U.S.-led concern that it might be developing nuclear arms.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and is not geared to weapons production.

Government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh said on Wednesday that Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency would sign the protocol in Vienna.

He said that after signature, the government would send the protocol to parliament as a bill. If it is approved there, it would still need to be approved by the Guardian Council, a body dominated by conservative clerics.

Several of the body's members spoke out earlier this year against signing the protocol, but have been silent in recent weeks.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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