Iran of­fers in­spec­tors from U.N. more ac­cess

Nuke chief: Move a ‘step for­ward’

The Washington Times Daily - - World - BY BRIAN MUR­PHY

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMI­RATES | Iran agreed Mon­day to of­fer more in­for­ma­tion and ex­panded ac­cess to U.N. nu­clear in­spec­tors, as Amer­ica’s top diplo­mat said Ira­nian en­voys had backed away from a wider deal seek­ing to ease Western con­cerns that Tehran could one day de­velop atomic weapons.

The flurry of an­nounce­ments and com­ments showed the com­plex­i­ties and ur­gency in try­ing to move ahead on an ac­cord be­tween Iran and world pow­ers af­ter talks in Geneva failed to pro­duce a deal that could curb Iran’s ura­nium en­rich­ment in ex­change for a roll­back of some U.S.-led eco­nomic sanc­tions.

With ne­go­tia­tors set to re­sume next week, Ira­nian of­fi­cials pro­moted the pact reached with U.N. nu­clear chief Yukiya Amano as a “road map” for greater co­op­er­a­tion and trans­parency.

But the plans do not men­tion some of the sites most sought by U.N. teams to probe sus­pi­cions of nu­clear-re­lated work, no­tably the Parchin mil­i­tary fa­cil­ity out­side Tehran.

“It’s an im­por­tant step for­ward, but by no means the end of the process,” Mr. Amano said in Tehran. “There is still much work to be done.”

Western lead­ers were keen to dis­play unity af­ter sug­ges­tions that France had bro­ken ranks in Geneva and de­manded more con­ces­sions from Iran on en­rich­ment lev­els and an un­der­con­struc­tion heavy wa­ter re­ac­tor.

Sec­re­tary of State John F. Kerry said it was Iran that put the brakes on reach­ing a first-phase agree­ment, but gave no de­tails on the Ira­nian con­cerns and sug­gested it is only a mat­ter of time be­fore a for­mula is found.

“There was unity, but Iran couldn’t take it,” Mr. Kerry said dur­ing a stop in Abu Dhabi. “The French signed off on it, we signed off on it.”

In Jerusalem, Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu has ac­knowl­edged that an over­all deal is likely be­tween Iran and world pow­ers, which would un­der­cut Is­raeli threats to launch mil­i­tary ac­tion against Ira­nian nu­clear sites. Yet he hailed the de­lay as a chance to “achieve a much bet­ter deal.”

For Mr. Ne­tanyahu and his back­ers, how­ever, hopes have all but evap­o­rated that Iran can be forced by ne­go­tia­tors to end its abil­ity to make nu­clear fuel. It’s now un­clear what type of deal would sat­isfy Is­rael, which sees a nu­cle­ar­armed Iran as a threat to its ex­is­tence.

Iran has cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nied it seeks nu­clear arms, and in­sists its only seeks re­ac­tors for en­ergy and med­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tions.

Ira­nian of­fi­cials por­trayed the ex­panded U.N. ac­cess as fur­ther sign it seeks to work with the West.

Un­der the plans, Iran would al­low in­spec­tors a first-time visit of its Gachin ura­nium mine on the Gulf coast and give broader ac­cess to the heavy wa­ter fa­cil­ity be­ing built in the cen­tral city of Arak. Heavy wa­ter re­ac­tors pro­duce a greater amount of plu­to­nium byprod­uct than con­ven­tional re­ac­tors.

In­spec­tors from the U.N.’s In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency al­ready have vis­ited the re­ac­tor site but seek more ex­ten­sive examinations.

BEIRUT | An in­ter­na­tional peace con­fer­ence pro­posed by the U.S. and Rus­sia may be the last chance to ne­go­ti­ate an end to Syria’s civil war, a coali­tion of Syria-based op­po­si­tion groups said Mon­day.

The call was made as Syr­ian govern­ment forces con­sol­i­dated con­trol over yet an­other north­ern town, part of a steadily ad­vanc­ing of­fen­sive that has re­versed rebel gains in re­cent weeks.

“This is the only avail­able frame­work


A man walks home with his son Mon­day fol­low­ing the dev­as­tat­ing storm that lashed Her­nani town­ship. Ty­phoon-rav­aged Philip­pine is­lands faced an unimag­in­ably huge re­cov­ery ef­fort that had barely be­gun Mon­day, as bod­ies lay un­col­lected and un­counted in the streets and sur­vivors pleaded for food, wa­ter and medicine.

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