Iran Nuclear Talks: Deal Reached On Nuclear Weapons Probe, UN Nuclear Chief Says
Top of the Agenda: IAEA Says It is Close to Deal With Iran
The director general of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, said today that he expects to sign a deal "quite soon" with Iran, allowing for an IAEA investigation in the potential military uses of the country's contested nuclear program (NYT). Amano's comments came after a one-day trip to Tehran to meet with senior officials, including Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. Representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States are set to meet Jalili in Baghdad tomorrow for a new round of negotiations over Iran's uranium enrichment efforts. The West contends that Iran's nuclear program is for the manufacturing of nuclear weapons, a claim Tehran strongly denies.
"The biggest issue on the table is the IAEA's ability to make intrusive, unannounced inspections of the Iranian nuclear program, including visits to military facilities like Parchin, where the Iranians may have been testing the blasting devices that can initiate a nuclear explosion. The U.N. has also demanded that Iran suspend its enrichment program," writes TIME's Joe Klein.
"But that is not the right goal. Given Iran's poor track record of honoring agreements, negotiations remain a gamble because they may never lead to an agreement, let alone one that can be sustained. Rather than focus on talks that may not produce a deal, then, the United States should place far more emphasis on supporting democracy and human rights in Iran," writes Patrick Clawson for Foreign Affairs.