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UN inspectors in Iran to visit uranium mine

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Kofi Annan, former U.N. secretary general, right, reads a statement at the conclusion of his meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, as Martti Ahtisaari, pormer president of Finland, left, listens. The former head of the United Nations urged Iran Monday to build on a historic deal reached with world powers in November and work toward a final settlement over its contested nuclear program. Annan, who is heading a group of ex-world leaders known as "The Elders," made the comments after a meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Monday. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi) (The Associated Press)

An Iranian official says a group of U.N. inspectors are on the way to visit a key uranium mine as part of a deal to allow expanded monitoring of the country's nuclear sites.

Nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told the official IRNA news agency that the inspectors were en route Wednesday to Bandar Abbas to visit the nearby Gachin mine.

Tehran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog — the International Atomic Energy Agency — struck a deal in November that grants U.N. inspectors wider access to Iran's nuclear facilities.

The deal was parallel to an agreement with world powers to have Iran halt its most sensitive uranium enrichment activities in return for easing of Western sanctions over its controversial nuclear program.

Tehran denies Western charges that it seeks to make nuclear weapons.

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