Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks delivers fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

Asia-pacific

US welcomes IAEA deal with Friday deadline

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-10-22

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, is seeking final agreement with Iran on its nuclear enrichment by a Friday deadline. The US, France, and other Western nations are hopeful.

The head of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) presented a draft agreement aimed at finally ending international tension over Iran’s nuclear programme on Wednesday after three days of intense talks in Vienna between negotiators from three world powers and Iran. The draft has now been sent to Russia, France, the United States and Iran for final approval by a Friday deadline.

“I have circulated a draft agreement that reflects, in my judgment, a balanced approach on how to move forward,” IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters after negotiations on Wednesday at the UN nuclear watchdog’s headquarters in Vienna.  

ElBaradei expressed the hope that the draft could break through months of deadlock over Iran’s enrichment programme, which Western powers fear could pave the way toward Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, but which Tehran insists is for civilian energy purposes only. “This agreement could open the way for a complete normalisation of relations between Iran and the international community,” ElBaradei said.



Throughout the latest round of talks, Iranian representatives have been accommodating, but non-committal. “We have to thoroughly study this text and ... come back and reflect our opinion and suggestions or comments in order to have an amicable solution at the end of the day,” said Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's IAEA ambassador, adding: “We welcome this event, we are fully cooperating.”  

The IAEA proposal includes the stipulation that Iran would send some 75 percent of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and later France for further enrichment into fuel, in accordance with a tentative agreement struck in Geneva on Oct. 1.    

“This is an important point because it means that large quantities of low-enriched uranium will be leaving Iranian territory to be further enriched for civilian purposes,” says FRANCE 24 correspondent Maurin Picard, reporting from Vienna. “This reduces, in theory, the chances of Iran collecting enough fuel to produce nuclear weapons.”

While the current draft calls for France to receive a portion of the Iranian stockpile, Tehran has in the past made clear it did not want France to be part of a deal, preferring instead to ship its low-enriched uranium to Russia. The IAEA reportedly included a compromise on this point, calling for Iran to sign an agreement on further processing with Russia, which would then sub-contract part of the work to France.

France’s nuclear negotiator expressed optimism that the draft deal could form the foundation for building a lasting agreement. “We have a very decent proposal on the table,” said Jacques Audibert, director for strategic affairs at the French Foreign Ministry, after attending the meeting. Audibert said that, while progress was being made “step by step”, hopes were high that Iranian representatives would sign on to the draft by Friday’s deadline.    

 

Date created : 2009-10-22

  • IRAN

    Nuclear talks are 'making progress', IAEA chief ElBaradei says

    Read more

  • IRAN

    Uranium talks 'off to good start' in Vienna

    Read more

COMMENT(S)