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Iran Nuclear Talks Begin in New York

IAEA inspectors will visit a uranium mine and a uranium-processing facility in Iran Monday and Tuesday.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/5/2014, 7:40 AM

Foreign ministers during nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva
Foreign ministers during nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva
Reuters

Nuclear experts from Iran and six world powers are due on Monday to start a week of talks in New York aimed at reaching a permanent agreement that limits Iran’s nuclear program. The talks from Monday to in Friday New York are in preparation for the next ministerial-level negotiations in Vienna on May 13.

The negotiators from Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States still need to resolve the most difficult issues on a permanent agreement before a July 20 deadline that was established under a temporary agreement last November.

But Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reports that hopes for a deal have been bolstered by Tehran’s announcement Sunday that it is allowing a visit by international nuclear inspectors this week.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman on Iran’s nuclear program, says International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors will visit a uranium mine and a uranium-processing facility in the towns of Ardakan and Yazd on Monday and Tuesday.

He said that Tehran will be able to say after the inspections that it has fulfilled all seven measures agreed in February between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog.

Iran is required to meet those demands by May 15.

Under the initial nuclear deal reached by Iran and world powers in November, Tehran stopped enrichment of uranium to 20 percent – a possible pathway to developing a nuclear weapons capability – in exchange for the easing of some Western sanctions.

Tehran also agreed to dilute half of its existing 20 percent enriched uranium stockpile to the 5 percent level and transform the rest into oxide, which is very difficult to use for bomb-making materials.