IAEA: Iran has taken 'a step in the right direction'

UN nuclear watchdog says Iran has taken "a step in the right direction" towards dealing with questions on its nuclear program.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

IAEA headquarters
IAEA headquarters

The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Friday said Iran had taken "a step in the right direction" towards dealing with questions on its nuclear program, but cautioned that the issues have not been "completely addressed", AFP reports.

The agency did not detail what the questions related to but said it was "discussing substance" with the Iranians.

There has been "engagement" from Tehran in recent weeks on questions relating to its nuclear safeguards declarations to the agency, IAEA acting head Cornel Feruta told journalists in Vienna.

"(That) engagement doesn't mean that the issues are completely addressed but it's a step in the right direction," he added.

Feruta said the queries did not touch directly on the faltering 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers but rather on Iran's separate safeguards agreement with the agency.

Diplomatic sources in Vienna say the agency has been waiting for information from the Iranians relating to samples taken earlier this year from a warehouse near the capital Tehran.

Last year, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu revealed that Iran has been using the site for undeclared nuclear activity.

Last month, it was reported that the facility in question had been found to contain traces of uranium.

At the beginning of September, Feruta had meetings with high-level officials in Tehran and subsequently urged Iran to "respond promptly" to the IAEA's questions, adding, "Time is of the essence."

On Friday, he said the IAEA had "been having a very active dialogue with Iran at both technical and higher levels in the past few weeks."

The latest developments come a week after the IAEA reported that Iran had started using advanced models of centrifuges to enrich uranium, in another breach of the 2015 deal.

Iran has scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal signed with world powers in retaliation for US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement last May.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)