Yukiya Amano
Yukiya AmanoReuters

The UN atomic watchdog chief sought Tuesday to ease concerns in the United States about its investigation into Iran's alleged past nuclear activities following July's landmark deal with major powers, AFP reports.

"The arrangements made with Iran are technically sound and consistent with IAEA safeguards practices. They do not compromise our standards in any way," International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano was quoted as having said at a meeting in Vienna.

Under the July 14 agreement, Iran will dramatically reduce in scale its nuclear activities in order to make any dash to produce atomic weapons all but impossible.

It will be up to the IAEA, which already has up to 10 inspectors in Iran every day, to verify that Iran sticks to its commitments and does not divert material to any covert nuclear weapons drive.

The July deal is not just about Iran's present and future activities, it is also about what the Islamic Republic may have done in the past.

The IAEA also wants to investigate allegations that at least until 2003 Iran conducted research into developing nuclear weapons. Tehran denies this.

On the same day as Iran's deal with the six powers, it also signed with the IAEA a separate "road map" deal aimed at closing for good the thorny "possible military dimensions" file by the end of the year.

Iran provided to the IAEA on August 15 "explanations in writing, and related documents" which the watchdog will review by September 15. Follow-up meetings and inspections have to be done by October 15 and Amano will issue a final report by December 15.

However, details of how this investigation will work, as well as a separate agreement regarding the Parchin military base where explosives testing allegedly took place, are confidential. Iran has declared that the details of the agreement must not be divulged due to its secret nature.

This has raised concerns among opponents to the main deal that Iran will hoodwink the IAEA.

In fact, reports last week claimed  the IAEA would allow Iran to self-inspect some suspected nuclear sites.

Amano said he was "disturbed" by what he said were “inaccurate claims” regarding the inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, and the State Department made clear that the IAEA would "in no way" hand over responsibility for nuclear inspections to Iran.

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, denouncing the wider Iran deal as "a farce", said last week that "inspections of state sponsors of terrorism can't work on the honor system".

Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, on Tuesday refused to be drawn on providing more details of the investigation, including on Parchin.

"We have some procedures, some arrangements (with the IAEA), which are confidential. I cannot disclose those arrangements. This is not only the commitment of Iran, it is also the commitment of the agency. We cannot discuss the details of any arrangement whatsoever," Najafi told reporters, according to AFP.

"I am not responsible for what happens in Washington," he added.