Deal struck on UN inspections of Iran sites

UN nuclear chief makes deal in Tehran for wider monitoring of nuclear sites that could boost broader negotiations.

    Iran's state television says an agreement for expanded monitoring has been reached in talks with the UN nuclear chief in a deal that could boost wider negotiations over Tehran's atomic programme.

    The broadcaster said the deal was struck on Monday in talks with UN nuclear chief Yukiya Amano.

    It is a so-called "roadmap'' that will give UN inspectors a broader reach, including access to a heavy water reactor under construction and a key uranium mine.

    "The practical measures will be implemented in the next three months, starting from today," Aman said in a news conference in Tehran, broadcast on state television.

    Amano's visit comes after efforts in Geneva over the weekend stalled on ways to ease Western concerns that Iran could one day produce nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful..

    The IAEA has complained about restrictions in access at some sites. Clearing the obstacles could be a major step towards a deal between Iran and world powers when negotiations resume next week.

    French 'hopeful'

    The French foreign minister said on Monday he was hopeful a deal could be reached with Iran over its nuclear programme, although Tehran still had to make an effort on a few points.

    "We are not far from an agreement with the Iranians, but we are not there yet," Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 radio.

    Some diplomats accused France of grandstanding during talks in Geneva at the weekend, something Fabius denied, saying Paris was not isolated but had an independent foreign policy. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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