Iran and UN nuke agency postpone talks

Iran and UN nuke agency postpone talks

IAEA to decide on role in nuclear deal; negotiations with Tehran were originally scheduled for January 21

Iran's heavy water nuclear facility, near the central city of Arak (AP/ISNA, Hamid Foroutan/File)
Iran's heavy water nuclear facility, near the central city of Arak (AP/ISNA, Hamid Foroutan/File)

A planned meeting between the United Nations’s nuclear watchdog and Iran meant to help alleviate concerns over its nuclear activities was postponed Tuesday, officials said.

No reason was given for the decision to move a meeting between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Tehran to February 8, Reuters reported.

The summit was originally planned to take place on January 21, the day after a high-profile interim nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers goes into effect.

Diplomats say the IAEA will meet January 24 on its role in supervising Iranian adherence to terms of the landmark pact, which commits Tehran to curb its nuclear programs in exchange for initial sanctions relief over six months as the two sides work toward a permanent agreement. The agreement also calls for more robust oversight over Iranian nuclear facilities.

The date was shared with The Associated Press by two diplomats from member countries of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. They demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal it before a formal IAEA announcement.

The accord designates the IAEA to oversee Iranian compliance with terms of the deal. The 35-nation IAEA board is expected to approve that role at the January 24 meeting.

In November 2013, Iran and the IAEA agreed on a cooperation pact, including six preliminary measures to be taken by the Islamic Republic over the following three months, including access access to a key uranium mine and the site of a planned heavy water reactor, and the provision of information.

After a review meeting last month both sides announced that they would reconvene in Tehran on January 21 to discuss the next steps under the framework agreement.

The IAEA has sought to investigate suspicions that explosive tests were carried out related to possible nuclear triggers. Iran denies the allegations, claiming its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.

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