The European Union will turn down an offer from Iran to tour its nuclear facilities, the bloc's foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said on Friday.
"Yes, what I'll be saying is the role of the inspections of nuclear sites is for the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and I do hope Iran will insure that the IAEA is able to go and continue its work," she told Reuters after talks with Hungary's Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi.
"My view is that though this is not an invitation that I'm taking a negative view of, it's not our job and looking at the sites and establishing what they are is for inspectors."
Iran resumed nuclear talks last month in Geneva with the so-called P5+1 nations -- UN Security Council permanent members China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States plus Germany -- after more than a year. The second round will take place in İstanbul, though the parties have not yet set a date.
Last May, together with Brazil, Turkey brokered a nuclear fuel swap deal with Tehran in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to avoid new sanctions on Iran agreed to by the Security Council in June. Both countries voted against the sanctions and have said diplomacy is needed to solve the dispute over Iran's nuclear enrichment, which produces material that could be further processed for military use.
A renewed nuclear fuel swap deal is likely to be on the agenda of the İstanbul talks, with Tehran preferring Turkey again as a storage venue for shipping low-enriched uranium.
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