|It is time to tackle ‘more difficult’ issues with Iran: IAEA chief||
TEHRAN – After recent progress with Iran, it is time to tackle “more difficult” issues in regard to the country’s nuclear program, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog told AFP in an interview published on Friday.
“We started with measures that are practical and easy to implement, and then we move on to more difficult things,” said Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“We certainly wish to include issues with possible military dimensions in future steps ... We have already discussed it and will continue to discuss it at the next meeting” between the IAEA and Iran on February 8, he said.
The United States and some other Western countries claim that Iran may have been trying to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons. The Islamic Republic strongly denies the claim and says that its nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes.
IAEA inspectors on Wednesday visited the Gachin uranium mine, as part of a joint statement that Iran and the UN nuclear agency signed on further cooperation on Tehran’s nuclear activities in the Iranian capital on November 11, 2013.
The joint statement represents a roadmap that specifies bilateral steps in regard to the outstanding issues concerning Iran’s nuclear program.
Under the agreement, Iran agreed to allow the agency’s inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water site in Markazi Province and the Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran.
IAEA inspectors visited the Arak heavy water production plant on December 8, 2013.
The Iran-IAEA discussions are separate from, but closely linked to, negotiations between Tehran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) over the country’s nuclear issue.
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