Iran renewed its invitation for inspectors from Russia, China and the European Union to visit its nuclear facilities, but said that non-acceptance of its invitation will not affect the upcoming talks with major powers in Istanbul. Western countries are reluctant to accept the invitation, saying the inspection work should be handled by IAEA. Russia, however, has welcomed Iran’s move, saying it reflects Tehran’s readiness for dialogue on its nuclear program, but it has not accepted the invitation yet to send its own inspectors to Iran outside the IAEA supervision.
The Istanbul talks, scheduled for 21-22 January, have raised expectations that a serious compromise between Iran and the West is at work. The West is seeking to slow down Iran’s nuclear program, while Iran is seeking an end to sanctions against the country.