Iran invited Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj to tour the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz on Monday, marking the first time a foreign leader has visited the controversial site.
Iranian state television aired footage of Elbegdorj inspecting centrifuges at the facility. The report maintained that Elbedorj was granted access to every part of the plant and suggested that the Mongolian leader supported Iran's claim about the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
“This site is a unique place," Elbegdorj was quoted as saying. "Maybe in other countries it is not possible to visit such a sensitive place. I found out how the enriched uranium is being used for peaceful energy.”
Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency visit the Natanz site regularly, and Iran has in the past allowed foreign diplomats and reporters to enter it as well.
Mongolia is one of the 120 members of the Non-Aligned Movement of emerging nations, which met in Tehran last week. During the summit, Iran's deputy foreign minister hinted that Iran might permit diplomats from the group to visit nuclear sites in the country, including the Parchin facility, where U.N. nuclear inspectors have not been granted access. A day later, however, the Iranian Foreign Ministry denied that such visits would be permitted.
Mongolia is reportedly building its first nuclear power plant and mining uranium with the help of Russia. Iran has said it was willing to help other countries develop nuclear energy.