Iran says to cooperate with IAEA on inspection of 2nd nuke facility

Iran vowed to ''fully and immediately'' cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog as the country held talks with six world powers in Geneva on Thursday over Tehran's nuclear program.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told a news conference after the high-profile meeting that Iran is prepared to invite International Atomic Energy Agency experts to inspect its newly revealed uranium enrichment facility.

''I and all the representatives of the six countries were united in underlining the importance of fully transparency and of rebuilding confidence through practical steps,'' Solana said.

Iran and the six counties -- meeting here for the first time since July last year -- also agreed to hold another round of talks by the end of October, Solana said. The previous meeting did not produce tangible results.

Representatives of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany met with top Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili here on the heels of the recent revelation of a second nuclear facility in Iran.

Russian state television quoted a senior foreign ministry official as saying IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei will visit Iran possibly Saturday.

In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama hailed Iran's stated pledge to work with the IAEA as ''a constructive beginning.''

''But it must be followed with constructive action by the Iranian government,'' Obama told reporters at the White House.

''The Iranian government heard a clear and unified message from the international community in Geneva,'' the president said. ''Iran must demonstrate, through concrete steps, that it will live up to its responsibilities with regard to its nuclear program.''

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department said Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns held a bilateral meeting with Iran's nuclear negotiator Jalili on the sidelines of the talks between Teheran and the six world powers.

The meeting marked the highest-level direct contact between the United States and Iran since the two countries severed their diplomatic ties in 1980.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told a news briefing later Thursday that Burns urged Iran to take ''concrete steps toward more transparency and steps that are consistent with Iran's international obligations.''

Reuters quoted Iranian state television as reporting that Jalili told his counterparts in Geneva that Iran would not give up its ''certain rights'' to pursue peaceful nuclear energy.

Burns told the Iranian negotiator that ''We recognize that Iran has certain rights. But with those rights come responsibilities,'' according to Kelly.

Kelly said Iran promised to the six countries that the country will invite IAEA experts to inspect the new nuclear facility near Qom ''in the next few weeks.''

The six countries agreed in principle to transport low-enriched uranium produced in Iran to third countries for further enrichment designed for medical applications, Kelly said. ''This regards producing isotopes for medical applications. And the details of this will be worked out among experts at the IAEA in Vienna on Oct. 18.''

U.S. President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France denounced Iran last week for secretly constructing a second uranium enrichment plant and urged Tehran to come clean about its nuclear program as soon as possible.

Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy made the pitch together when they met in Pittsburgh on the sidelines of a financial summit of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies.

After the summit, Obama said Iran must unveil all the details of its nuclear program at its talks in Geneva with the six major powers.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed last Friday that a second uranium enrichment plant is completely legal under the U.N. nuclear watchdog's rules, brushing off criticism from Obama and other leaders.

Before the revelation of the second facility, the existence of only one enrichment plant was known. That plant, located in Natanz, is under IAEA surveillance.

Iran, currently under three sets of sanctions, is continuing uranium enrichment activities despite a resolution the U.N. Security Council adopted urging the country to suspend enrichment.

Western countries are concerned that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran claims its enrichment activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes.

Tehran has repeatedly said that it will not negotiate away its ''right'' to its nuclear program.

(Distributed by Kyodo News on Oct. 1, 2009)