Satellite imagery of Iran's Parchin military complex, taken on December 9, 2012.
Satellite imagery of Iran's Parchin military complex, taken on December 9, 2012. Photo by DigitalGlobe - ISIS
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Iran on Tuesday said that a request by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the Parchin military base near Tehran would be possible if the country's right to a nuclear program were acknowledged.

"We are ready to reach a comprehensive agreement with the IAEA, including acknowledgment of Iran's legitimate rights, and in that case also the inspection of Parchin could be one of the agreements," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in Tehran.

In addition, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said it was reported that Iran is converting some of its higher-grade enriched uranium into reactor fuel.

"This work is being done and all its reports have been sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a complete manner," Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying on Tuesday by state news agency IRNA.

He was responding to a question on news reports that Iran has converted some of its 20-percent-enriched uranium into fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor, IRNA said.

Diplomats accredited to the IAEA in Vienna told Reuters that Iran had apparently resumed converting into fuel small amounts of higher-grade enriched uranium - a process which if expanded could buy time for negotiations between Washington and Tehran on its disputed nuclear program.

The possibility of Iran converting enriched uranium into fuel - slowing a growth in stockpiles of material that could be used to make weapons - is one possible way in which the nuclear dispute between Iran and the West could avoid hitting a crisis by the summer.

Tehran could otherwise have amassed sufficient stock by June to hit a "red line" set by Israel after which it has indicated it could attack to prevent Iran acquiring enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon.

A team from the IAEA, headed by chief Herman Nackaerts, will resume talks in Tehran on Wednesday to press for authorization to visit the Parchin base, where atomic weapon parts have allegedly been tested.

While Iran insists its nuclear projects are solely for civil purposes, the West is concerned that the Islamic state would use its atomic technology for a secret weapons' program.

Last week Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei strongly rejected proposals for direct talks with the United States, effectively quashing suggestions for a breakthrough one-on-one dialogue on the nuclear standoff and potentially other issues.

Washington has indicated in the past that it's prepared to talk directly with Iran on the nuclear issue, but so far nothing has come of it. Meanwhile, the wider talks between Iran and world powers have made little headway. Three rounds last year ended in stalemate with Tehran pushing for a roll back of Western sanctions in exchange for any key concessions on its nuclear program.

The West and allies fear that Iran's uranium enrichment labs could eventually produce weapons-grade material. The Islamic Republic claims it only seeks nuclear fuel for energy reactors and medical applications.

Last week Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei strongly rejected proposals for direct talks with the United States, effectively quashing suggestions for a breakthrough one-on-one dialogue on the nuclear standoff and potentially other issues.

Washington has indicated in the past that it's prepared to talk directly with Iran on the nuclear issue, but so far nothing has come of it. Meanwhile,the wider talks between Iran and world powers have made little headway. Three rounds last year ended in stalemate with Tehran pushing for a roll back of Western sanctions in exchange for any key concessions on its nuclear program.

The West and allies fear that Iran's uranium enrichment labs could eventually produce weapons-grade material. The Islamic Republic claims it only seeks nuclear fuel for energy reactors and medical applications.