Teheran/London, 11 November
Iran agreed today to allow expanded UN monitoring at the country’s nuclear sites, including at a new reactor, state TV reported, in a deal that could boost wider negotiations over Teheran’s atomic programme.
The deal was struck during talks in Teheran with the UN nuclear chief Yukiyo Amano as part of a parallel initiative to the broader efforts underway to ease Western concerns that Iran could one day develop nuclear weapons ~ an assertion Iran denies.
The promise to grant wider access to UN nuclear inspectors could help push forward talks between Iran and world powers, which failed to reach a deal over the weekend but are scheduled to resume next week in Geneva.
The so-called “roadmap” described by Iran’s state TV would give the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency access to a key uranium mine and the site of a planned heavy water reactor, which uses a different type of coolant than regular water and produces a greater amount of plutonium by-product than conventional reactors.
During the weekend talks in Geneva between Iran and six world powers, France insisted that more controls were needed on the planned reactor in the central city of Arak. The IAEA has sought to revisit the site to investigate suspicions that explosive tests were carried out related to possible nuclear triggers.
Media slams France: The Iranian Press today rounded on France and its top diplomat Laurent Fabius, after reports emerged he scuttled a deal in nuclear negotiations in Geneva at the weekend.
Britain, Iran envoys: The UK today appointed a seasoned Indian-origin diplomat as its non-resident Charge d’Affaires in Iran even as Teheran named its envoy to London in order to restore diplomatic ties severed.