Iran is honoring the interim nuclear agreement reached last year with the P5+1 world powers, according to a confidential International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report.
The document, obtained by Reuters Friday, showed that Tehran was not enriching uranium above a five percent concentration, and that it has not made “any further advances” at two enrichment facilities and a heavy water reactor which was under construction.
The IAEA conducts regular, close inspections of Iran’s nuclear program and files confidential monthly reports. But it has been pressing Iran for years to address allegations that prior to 2003, and possibly since, Tehran conducted research into developing nuclear weapons.
The IAEA probes current and declared activities, most notably Tehran’s uranium enrichment facilities. Progress was made last year but the probe has since stalled, with Iran failing to provide information by an August 25, 2014 deadline on two out of around a dozen suspect areas.
Last week, the UN atomic watchdog said that a visit proposed by Iran to the northwestern Marivan region would not be helpful to investigating allegations of large-scale, high-explosive experiments.
Separately, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are seeking a landmark deal by June 30, 2015 aimed at ensuring Tehran will never develop nuclear weapons under cover of its civilian activities. Iran denies that it is seeking the bomb and insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Earlier this week, talks in Geneva were welcomed as “useful” by Iran, even as France and Britain accused Tehran of not being flexible enough during discussions. The talks were part of the first round of nuclear talks with the major powers since the two sides gave themselves another seven months to strike a deal.
“We had intensive and useful discussions,” Iran’s lead negotiator, deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi, told state television after a two-hour meeting in Geneva on Wednesday. “All issues were discussed. We’ll have a new meeting in a little under a month.”
Araqchi held two days of talks with a US delegation headed by Acting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman ahead of the plenary session with the six powers.
The powers, which also include Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, held formal talks with the Iranians in Vienna last month.
They failed to meet a November 24 deadline for the comprehensive deal on reining in Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of crippling Western sanctions.