UN Nuclear Chief: Deal to be Signed with Iran Soon

Posted May 22nd, 2012 at 7:10 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency says he expects Iran to sign a deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency “quite soon.”

But IAEA chief Yukio Amano said Tuesday in Vienna there are still some differences to be sorted out. Amano has just returned from Tehran, where he met with Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and the Iranian nuclear energy organization chief, Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani.

Amano's trip was his first to Iran since taking office at the U.N. nuclear agency in 2009. He was expected to discuss Iran's dispute with the United Nations over access to Iranian facilities suspected of being used for a covert nuclear-weapons program.

After the talks, Jalili said he had a good discussion with Amano about how to cooperate on global nuclear disarmament, stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and supporting the rights of IAEA member states.

The acting U.S. envoy to the IAEA urged Iran to take “concrete steps” to fully and transparently cooperate with the IAEA. He said he looked forward to learning more as the dialogue between Iran and the IAEA continues.

Iran has rejected repeated IAEA requests to inspect its Parchin military complex in response to Western allegations of atomic weapons research at the site. Tehran says the complex houses only conventional weapons and insists the Iranian nuclear program is peaceful.

Jalili arrived in Baghdad, Iraq, late Monday before nuclear talks with world powers on Wednesday.

The world powers include the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – a group that has been trying to assess the possible military capability of Iran's nuclear sites.

Israel sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to its existence and refuses to rule out military action against the Iranian nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Iran a threat to the entire world Monday and urged world powers not to make concessions to Iran at the talks.

The United States also has refused to rule out a strike on Iran to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons.