VIENNA – Despite some remaining differences, a deal has been reached withIran that will allow the U.N. nuclear agency to restart along-stalled probe into suspicions that Tehran has secretly workedon developing nuclear arms, the U.N. nuclear chief said Tuesday. The news from International Atomic Energy Agency chief YukiyaAmano, who returned from Tehran on Tuesday, comes just a day beforeIran and six world powers meet in Baghdad for negotiations andcould present a significant turning point in the heated disputeover Iran’s nuclear intentions. The six nations hope the talks willresult in an agreement by the Islamic Republic to stop enrichinguranium to a higher level that could be turned quickly into thefissile core of nuclear arms.
Iran denies it seeks nuclear arms and says its reactors are onlyfor power and medical applications. By compromising on the IAEA probe, Iranian negotiators in Baghdadcould argue that the onus was now on the other side to show someflexibility and temper its demands. Although Amano’s trip and thetalks in Baghdad are formally separate, Iran hopes progress withthe IAEA can boost its chances Wednesday in pressing the U.S. andEurope to roll back sanctions that have hit Iran’s critical oilexports and blacklisted the country from international bankingnetworks. It was unclear, though, how far the results achieved by Amano wouldserve that purpose, with him returning without the two sidessigning the deal, despite his upbeat comments.
After talks in Tehran between Amano and chief Iranian nuclearnegotiator Saeed Jalili, “the decision was made… to reachagreement” on the mechanics of giving the IAEA access to sites,scientists and documents it seeks to restart its probe,” Amano toldreporters at Vienna airport after his one-day trip to Tehran. Amano said differences existed on “some details,” withoutelaborating but added that Jalili had assured him that these “willnot be an obstacle to reach agreement.” He spoke of “an almostclean text” that will be signed soon, although he could not saywhen. Western diplomats are skeptical of Iran’s willingness to open pastand present activities to full perusal, believing it would onlyreveal what they suspect and Tehran denies — that the IslamicRepublic has researched and developed components of a nuclearweapons program. Medical Co2 Laser
They say that Tehran’s readiness to honor anyagreement it has signed is the true test of its willingness tocooperate The United States is among those skeptics. In a statement releasedsoon after Amano’s announcement, Robert A. Wood, America’s chiefdelegate to the nuclear agency, said Washington appreciated Amano’sefforts but remained “concerned by the urgent obligation for Iranto take concrete steps to cooperate fully with the verificationefforts of the IAEA, based on IAEA verification practices.” ” We urge Iran to take this opportunity to resolve all outstandingconcerns about the nature of its nuclear program,” said thestatement. “Full and transparent cooperation with the IAEA is thefirst logical step.” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also urged Iran to putprofessed good intentions into action. China Teeth Whitening Equipment
“Enduring and substantial cooperation by Iran with theInternational Atomic Energy Agency to clear up the open questionssurrounding the Iranian nuclear program would be an important andat the same time overdue step in the right direction,” he said in astatement. On the Baghdad talks, “the aim is to make progress not justatmospherically but also on substance,” he said, reflecting Westernviews that the feel-good effect achieved at a previous round inIstanbul last month must now be built upon with concrete stepsaimed at reducing international concerns over Tehran’s nuclearagenda. For the six powers — the United States, Russia, China,Britain, France and Germany — a main concern is Iran’sproduction of uranium enriched to 20 percent, which is far higherthan needed for regular energy-producing reactors but used for oneIran says it needs for medical research. The U.S. IPL Laser Machine
and its alliesfear the higher-enriched uranium could be quickly boosted towarhead-grade material. U.S. officials have said Washington will not backpedal from itsstance that Iran must fully halt uranium enrichment. Butspeculation is increasing that the priorities have shifted to blockthe 20 percent enrichment and perhaps allow Iran to maintainlower-level nuclear fuel production — at least for now.
Iranian officials could package such a scenario as a victory fortheir domestic audience. In Israel, it would likely be greeted withdismay and widen rifts between President Barack Obama’s U.S.administration and Israeli officials who keep open the threat ofmilitary action against Iran’s nuclear sites. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned againstconcessions, saying world powers should make “clear and unequivocaldemands” that Iran stop all of its nuclear enrichment activity. “Iran wants to destroy Israel and it is developing nuclear weaponsto fulfill that goal,” Netanyahu said at a conference in Jerusalem.”Against this malicious intention, leading world powers need todisplay determination and not weakness. They should not make anyconcessions to Iran.” Jalili, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator who met with Amano and willalso be the lead envoy at the Baghdad talks, said his country hopesfor a new beginning when the talks start on Wednesday.
“We hope that the talks in Baghdad will be a kind of dialogue thatwill give shape to … cooperation,” Jalili said after arriving inBaghdad late Monday. As part of any agreement, Amano and his agency are focused ongetting Iran to let agency experts to probe various high-profileIranian sites, including the Parchin military complex southeast ofTehran, where the agency believes Iran in 2003 ran explosive testsneeded to set off a nuclear charge. The suspected blasts took placeinside a pressure chamber.
Iran has never said whether the chamber existed, but describesParchin as a conventional military site. Iran, however, has blockedIAEA requests for access to sites, scientists and documents neededfor its investigation for more than four years. Amano’s talks included Jalili as well as Iran’s foreign ministerand other officials including the head of Iran’s nuclear agency,Fereidoun Abbasi. Iranian lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahtpisheh told The AssociatedPress on Monday that Tehran will likely accept more inspections ofParchin “if it feels there is good will within the (IAEA).” But Falahtpisheh warned that this new openness will likely comewith expectations that the West would in return ease internationalsanctions on Iran. “In opening up to more inspections, Iran aims at lowering thecrisis over its nuclear case,” he said.
“But if the sanctionscontinue, Iran would stop this.” A political analyst in Tehran, Hamid Reza Shokouhi, said Iran iscarefully watching to see if the West shows more “flexibility andpays attention to Iranian demands” during Amano’s trip. “Then Iran will show flexibility, too,” Shokouhi said. But some Iranian media was critical of Amano and the IAEA, possiblyreflecting internal divisions on how far to go compromise onnuclear issues. In a sign of ebbing market worries, oil prices have steadily fallensince Iran and world powers resumed talks in April in Istanbul.Fears of supply disruptions because of military conflict or Iranianshipping blockades helped drive prices above $106 a barrel earlierthis year. Oil rose to slightly above $92 per barrel Monday in NewYork.
___ Ali Akbar Dareini in Baghdad, Brian Murphy in Dubai, Ian Deitch inJerusalem, Monika Scislowska in Warsaw and Geir Moulson in Berlincontributed to this report.