Iran agrees to ‘roadmap’ for UN inspections

NEGOTIATING STILL. In this file photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif briefs to media after the closing of the two days of closed-door nuclear talks, during a press conference at the CICG, in Geneva, Switzerland, 16 October 2013. EPA/Martial Trezzini

Iran agreed with a UN nuclear watchdog on a “roadmap for cooperation” to inspect its disputed program. Iran’s agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requires the country to provide information on all new research reactors and identify sites for the construction of power plants and for uranium enrichment. Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said IAEA inspectors would be allowed to visit a heavy water reactor under construction in Arak and the Gachin uranium mine in the south. At least a year from completion, the Arak reactor is a major source of concern for Western powers, who fear the plutonium it will produce could provide Iran with a second route to an atomic bomb. But Iran insists it wants to produce isotopes solely for medical and agricultural purposes. Despite failing to clinch a deal in Geneva over the weekend, diplomats say world powers are close to reaching a landmark interim deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

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