Sunday, May 20, 2012

IAEA Director Leaves for Tehran

Seeking Agreement Before Baghdad Talks

IAEA Director Youkiya Amano flies to Tehran today for talks with Iran’s foreign minister, chief nuclear negotiator and other senior leaders on Monday. IAEA is seeking to expand its current agreement with Iran to allow unscheduled visits to the sites suspected of being centers for nuclear weapon research and development, specially Parchin military cmplex. Reuters is reporting that Amano wants to seal the deal on Monday, two days prior to an all-important meeting the six world powers and Iran in Baghdad. Such agreement will significantly influence the direction of the upcoming talks, and could be a potential breakthrough in the decade-old dispute over Iran's nuclear program.

Referring to suspicions about the existence of a military dimension to the country’s nuclear program, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Saturday that Amano’s visit could help “clear up the ambiguities.”

"We regard the visit by the agency's director general as a gesture of goodwill," said Salehi, adding that he hoped for agreement on a "new modality" to work with IAEA to “clear up the ambiguities" [ISNA/Reuters].

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