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IAEA team arrives in Tehran for nuclear visits

Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi attends a news conference at the headquarters of the IAEA in
Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi attends a news conference at the headquarters of the IAEA in

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Tehran on Saturday, another step towards implementing a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers which was finalized last week, according to the semi-official Fars News agency.

The team, led by nuclear engineer Massimo Aparo, will begin reporting to the IAEA on Monday, marking the official start of the deal, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Under the terms of the agreement with the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, Iran will stop work on some portions of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some international sanctions which have damaged the country's economy.

The IAEA team will visit the Natanz and Fordow nuclear facilities to ensure that Iran will stop enriching uranium to 20 percent and that its stockpile of enriched uranium is diluted, according to Fars News.

Last month, a number of hardline lawmakers introduced a bill in the Iranian parliament pushing for an increase of uranium enrichment up to 60 percent, ostensibly for use in nuclear submarines.

The bill was seen as a counter to a U.S. Senate bill to increase sanctions on Iran but has yet to be voted on in the Iranian parliament. If the bill passes it would likely sink the deal between Iran and six world powers.

Officials from Iran's Atomic Energy Organization met the IAEA team at the airport, and the two groups are scheduled to have meetings on Saturday, IRNA reported.

(Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

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