Iran's IAEA envoy says N-talkspositive
Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says there have been positive developments regarding the implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal. After a board meeting of the IAEA on Wednesday, Reza Najafi said that all members of the agency supported the ongoing talks between Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog. Najafi described the complete implementation of the six initial practical measures with regard to the present and past issues as a positive development. He said Iran and the agency have also agreed on seven more additional practical steps- one of which has already been taken. The Iranian envoy pointed to expert- level talks currently underway between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, saying the two sides have also agreed on a timetable to hold regular director level meetings on a monthly basis in Geneva. He said the US ambassador to the IAEA Joseph MacManus has also acknowledged that considerable progress had been made regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Iran and the UN nuclear body signed an agreement in November 2013 to outline a roadmap for bilateral cooperation on certain outstanding issues. Under the deal, Iran agreed, on a voluntary basis, to allow IAEA inspectors to visit Arak heavy water plant and Gachin uranium mine. The UN nuclear agency’s inspectors visited Arak heavy water production plant on December 8, 2013, as the first step to be implemented under the Iran- IAEA agreement. The IAEA inquiry is separate from but complementary to higher-level talks between Iran and the P5+1 group, which is aimed at reaching a final agreement to fully resolve the West’s decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear energy program. Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany inked an interim deal on Tehran’s nuclear energy program in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 24th last year. The Geneva accord, dubbed the Joint Plan of Action, took effect on January 20th.