Iran promises some nuclear concessions
U.N. nuclear inspectors banned earlier this year by Tehran from visiting a heavy water reactor will now be allowed to inspect it before the end of July, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday. In a further sign of compromise, the IAEA said the country also agreed to answer questions on past experiments that the international community fears could be linked to a weapons program.
The IAEA stated Iran promised the concessions, including the inspection of the Arak reactor, in a meeting this week between its officials and a senior delegation from the Vienna-based agency.
Any Iranian decision to cooperate with the agency could weaken a push by the United States and Western allies on the council to impose new U.N. sanctions — even if Iran continues to defy the council's main demand that it freeze uranium enrichment. In talks between Iranian officials and IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen, "agreement was reached on ... a visit of agency inspectors to the heavy water research reactor at Arak by the end of July," said am IAEA statement.
According to the AP, the two sides also agreed on how "to resolve remaining issues regarding Iran's past plutonium experiments," appointing new inspectors in the place of those banned by Iran earlier this year, finalizing ways of fuller IAEA supervision of uranium enrichment activities.
Remaining issues include "uranium contamination found on equipment at a specific location," said the agency, alluding to traces of enriched uranium at a military site — which could indicate links to a weapons program_ as "well as studies related to specified projects," again shorthand for nuclear work that could have military applications.