The talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) are separate from — though still closely linked with — broader diplomacy between Tehran and six world powers over Iran's
disputed nuclear activity.
In November, Iran and the IAEA agreed a cooperation pact, including
six initial steps to be taken by the country over the following
three months, including access to two nuclear-related facilities and
the provision of information.
They said after a review meeting last month they would meet again in
Tehran on January 21 to discuss the next steps under the framework
agreement. An IAEA spokeswoman confirmed in an email a report that
the date of the meeting had been postponed.
The IAEA wants Iran to address allegations that it has researched
how to develop nuclear bombs, a charge Iran denies. Tehran says the
nuclear program is entirely peaceful.
Separately, Iran and the six powers — the United States, France,
Germany, Britain, China and Russia — said on Sunday the
implementation of a November 24 landmark agreement to curb Tehran's
atomic activity in return for some sanctions easing would begin on
January 20. The IAEA will play a major role in verifying that Iran
implements its part of the deal.
The IAEA's 35-nation governing board is due to hold an extraordinary
meeting on January 24 to discuss the U.N. agency's extra work in
monitoring the six-month agreement between Iran and the six states,
two diplomats told Reuters on Tuesday.
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The IAEA already regularly inspects Iranian nuclear sites to make
sure there is no diversion of sensitive material for military
It will now both increase the frequency of such visits and see some
additional facilities, including plants where Iran manufactures
equipment for refining uranium. Enriched uranium can have both
civilian and military purposes.
For its increased workload, the IAEA likely needs to send more
inspectors to Iran and it has tentatively assessed that it will face
extra costs of roughly 5 million euros ($6.83 million) which partly
will be funded by voluntary member states contributions, diplomats
($1 = 0.7324 euros)
(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Alister Doyle)
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