Fresh Push to Settle IAEA Questions

Fresh Push to Settle IAEA Questions  Fresh Push to Settle IAEA Questions

The International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano is due in Tehran today to discuss ways to resolve outstanding issues regarding Tehran’s past nuclear activities and develop a mechanism for monitoring the implementation of a prospective nuclear deal with major powers.

He is scheduled to meet President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani.

The meeting comes in response to Tehran’s request for direct talks between the UN nuclear agency’s chief and top-level Iranian officials to exchange views about some “proposals” regarding the pending issues between Iran and the IAEA and the verification regime on Iran’s nuclear activities, ISNA reported.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had met Amano in Vienna on Tuesday on the sidelines of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) on a settlement to the 12-yeat standoff over Tehran’s nuclear work.

The pace and timing of lifting sanctions and the verification system to monitor Iran’s compliance with the terms of the deal are among the main sticking points in the negotiations.

The six powers have also called on Iran to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog to help it conclude its investigation into what it calls possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s past nuclear work. Iran denies its program may have any military objectives, saying its activities are solely for peaceful applications.

An unidentified Iranian diplomat told reporters in Vienna some “solutions and proposals” to resolve the IAEA’s questions will be presented to Tehran during the visit.

The diplomat also said, “We believe that the framework for cooperation, which was signed between Iran and the agency in November 2013, can provide a basis for the resolution of the issue of PMD.”

On the IAEA’s request for broader access to Iranian sites and scientists, the diplomat said, “We think it is possible to solve PMD within the framework of the cooperation agreement and without (enhanced) access and interviews.”

  Positive Sign  

Reuters quoted western diplomats as saying on Tuesday the IAEA was expected to report on Wednesday that Iran reduced its low enriched uranium stockpile to the level required under a preliminary nuclear deal with the six major powers.

Under an interim nuclear pact struck in November 2013 and renewed the following year, every six months Iran should reduce its stockpile of low enriched uranium that is enriched to a purity of up to five percent, to a maximum of about 7,650 kg. Tehran was required to reach this level by June 30.

According to the IAEA’s May report, Iran had 8,714.7 kg of LEU. But the diplomats said Tehran reduced the stockpile.