Global Security Newswire
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Iran Open to Giving IAEA More Access to Nuclear Facilities: Report
Nuclear experts from Iran and six nations wrapped up negotiations in Vienna on Thursday amid reports that the Middle Eastern nation is prepared to make it easier for U.N. inspectors to visit its contested atomic facilities.
Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency on Wednesday cited an unnamed source saying that Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency this week that it would give its experts broader entrée.
“Iran proposes a rather transparent program, including within the framework of existing agreements and IAEA practices -- at the sites where the inspectors are present they will be able to get access to more information and to some events where they had a limited access or no access at all," the source familiar with IAEA-Iranian talks reportedly said.
Iran has taken part in two different sets of meetings this week about its controversial nuclear efforts, which it insists are peaceful but other nations fear are oriented toward the development of weapons.
On Monday Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano met at the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency's headquarters in Vienna, after which Iranian and IAEA professionals spent two days poring over an undisclosed Iranian proposal for resolving outstanding issues regarding Tehran's nuclear program. The two sides described their negotiations as "very productive" in an unusual joint statement on Tuesday.
Also, on Thursday technical experts from Iran and the so-called "P-5+1" -- United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany -- wrapped up two days of talks in Vienna, in preparation for resumed talks between senior diplomats from the countries in Geneva on Nov. 7 and 8.
There was no immediate word if the meetings on Wednesday and Thursday yielded any breakthroughs, and participants declined to comment to journalists, Reuters reported.
Western officials had hoped the technical talks would help shape a forthcoming agreement between Iran and the six nations for the Middle Eastern country to scale back its uranium enrichment efforts if economic sanctions against it are eased.
Meanwhile, in Washington President Obama's administration continued to press the U.S. Senate to delay action on expanding sanctions against Iran while diplomatic talks continue. Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew planned to meet late on Thursday with Democratic leaders of the Senate and members of the Senate Banking Committee, according to the Associated Press.
The Republican-led House of Representatives passed legislation in July that would expand economic constraints against Iran because of its nuclear-development work, and the Senate Banking Committee has eyed a similar bill that would blacklist Iran's mining and construction sectors, the news service reported.
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