The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency chief on Friday said he hopes to unveil new steps in a long-stalled investigation into Iran’s nuclear program in March.
In a Friday speech to his organization’s multinational governing board, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano also said he would update the body at its next meeting on how Tehran is handling a half-dozen pledges it made to the U.N. agency in November. The cooperation framework was agreed in parallel to — but separate from — the deal Iran made with six major world powers on restricting its nuclear efforts in exchange for some sanctions relief.
At the same time, Amano said he intends “to identify the next measures envisaged under the framework,” when the 35-nation IAEA Board of Governors convenes its next five-day meeting on March 3.
His agency’s probe in Iran is distinct from its monitoring role under a closely watched nuclear agreement between Tehran and the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany. In the investigation, the Vienna-based organization is seeking to determine whether Iran carried out activities in the past relevant to the potential weaponization of its peaceful nuclear program.
Winning access to Iran’s Parchin military base has figured high among the agency’s priorities since late 2011. At that time, Amano revealed indications that the facility might have hosted scientific activities potentially of use in a nuclear-arms development effort.
Iranian and IAEA officials are scheduled to hold their next meeting about the U.N. inquiry on Feb. 8. The gathering was previously slated for Jan. 21, but participants delayed it at Tehran’s request.
Meanwhile, numerous countries at Friday’s meeting offered financial contributions to support additional IAEA surveillance activities required under Iran’s six-month agreement with the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany, participants told Reuters. The expanded monitoring is expected to cost roughly $8 million for the agreement’s half-year duration, Amano said.
Implementing Tehran’s arrangement with the “P-5+1” nations “will be a further important step towards achieving a comprehensive solution to the Iran nuclear issue. But there is still a long way to go,” the IAEA director general said on Friday. The multilateral accord took effect earlier this week.
What We're Following See More »
"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."
"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."
"Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak said on Wednesday that it would take him more than 20 minutes to name all of the Trump officials he's met with or spoken to on the phone. ... Kislyak made the remarks in a sprawling interview with Russia-1, a popular state-owned Russian television channel."