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In order to show their willingness to comply, after yet another round of talks finishes without a deal, the Iranian Atomic Agency has agreed to allow UN inspectors to visit nuclear sites that have long-been kept off limits.
Whilst the latest talks to take place between Iran and the P5+1 (US, Russia, China, UK, France, Germany) have failed to find a solution, both sides assure that a lot of progress to close the gap between their demands has been made.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency Organisation, has since met with Yukiya Amano, the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to work out a roadmap that will lead to greater cooperation and trust between the two parties.
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William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary, returned from Geneva and explained to MPs that the differences between the two sides had been reduced and now “we must build momentum behind the Geneva talks.”
“Our aim is to produce an interim first step agreement with Iran that can then create the confidence and space to negotiate a comprehensive and final settlement.”
To those fearful that the P5+1 is giving in too easily, eager to finally find a solution to the conflict and allow Iran to start producing and exporting higher levels of oil, Hague explained that “an interim agreement would involve offering Iran limited, proportionate sanctions relief. In the meantime though, we will be vigilant and firm in upholding the international sanctions which have played an indispensable part in creating this new opening with Iran.”
The Guardian reports that two of the facilities that Iran will now allow IAEA inspectors to visit are the Gchine uranium mine and the heavy water reactor in Arak, however no mention has yet been made of the Parchin military compound to the south-east of Tehran. Parchin has long been at the heart of the conflict, and a site that has been given the most suspicion by the international community, especially as inspectors have not been allowed near the place since 2005.
The Arak heavy water reactor plant.
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The Guardian states that the Iranians failed to reach an agreement with the P5+1 in Geneva because France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, said that his government could not agree on the wording proposed.
Although John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, talked down France’s role in blocking the agreement, instead saying that it was the Iranians who could not accept. “The French signed off on it, we signed off on it. There was unity but Iran couldn't take it.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com