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Iran Car Accident Kills IAEA Atomic Inspector

(Corrects South Korea Foreign Ministry statement in third paragraph.)

A South Korean inspector from the International Atomic Energy Agency was killed in a car accident in Iran during a tour to inspect nuclear facilities.

A vehicle carrying two IAEA staff on a mission near the Khondab complex in the western Markazi province flipped over, the Fars agency said today, citing a statement by Iran’s atomic energy organization. The second person, a Slovak national, was injured and hospitalized, according to the Iranian Students News Agency.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a text message to reporters that a 58-year-old national died in a car accident in Iran at about 11 a.m. local time while traveling to visit the city of Arak, Markazi’s provincial capital and the site of one of Iran’s nuclear sites.

The accident occurred before a meeting next week between Iranian officials and the IAEA in Vienna and another later this month with world powers aimed at resolving a standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. and its allies say they are concerned that the Iranian government may develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its activities are aimed at generating electricity and for medical research.

Israeli Threats

The IAEA is in touch with the Iranian authorities and with the inspectors’ families, it said in an e-mailed statement. The agency gave no further details of what happened.

Threats by Israel and the U.S. to carry out air strikes on Iranian nuclear installations, and Iranian pledges to retaliate, helped push Brent crude prices to about $126 a barrel in March, the highest in more than 3 1/2 years.

Prices have declined since Iran and the world powers broke a 15-month stalemate on the nuclear conflict during talks on April 14 in Istanbul. Another round is scheduled for Baghdad on May 23.

Brent oil for June settlement dropped to $111.40 at 3:30 p.m. in London today. Odds compiled by Intrade.com that Israel or the U.S. will strike Iran by the end of this year dropped to about 23 percent yesterday, from 33 percent at the end of March and as high as 62 percent in February.

Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and its facilities are under IAEA supervision.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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