Iran agreed Monday to allow expanded UN monitoring at the countrys nuclear sites,including at a new reactor,state TV reported,in a deal that could boost wider negotiations over Tehrans atomic programme.
The deal was struck during talks in Tehran with the UN nuclear chief 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 vehemently 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 Irans state TV would give the inspectors from 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 greater amount of plutonium byproduct than conventional reactors.
During the weekend talks in Geneva between Iran and six world powers,France insisted more controls were needed on the planned reactor in the central city of Arak.
Plutonium can be used in nuclear weapons production,but separating it from the reactor byproducts requires a special technology that Iran does not currently possess.
Mondays deal also could open room for even wider inspections,but no details were given.
The practical measures will be implemented in the next three months,starting from today, UN nuclear chief Yukiyo Amano said in a news conference in Tehran.
Noticeable absent from the announcement was mention of the Parchin military facility southeast of Tehran. The IAEA has sought to revisit the site to investigate suspicions that explosive tests were carried out related to possible nuclear triggers.
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