VIENNA - Iranian nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi said he had agreed new measures of cooperation with U.N. inspectors during talks on Tuesday with the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The IAEA did not comment immediately on the deal which coincides with a diplomatic thaw between Iran and world powers, signaled by a plan for talks on October 1, and which was prompted by rising concern about Iran's drive for nuclear capability.
Salehi declined to say what the new cooperation entailed but it would not cover the IAEA's probe into intelligence reports suggesting Iran covertly researched nuclear weapon designs. Iran has said the reports are fabricated and the issue is closed. We managed to come to an agreement to set a new framework for better and deeper cooperation in the future, Salehi told reporters, summarizing talks with IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei during an annual meeting of the agency's 150 member states.
Details will be revealed at the proper time. We hope we will be witnessing in the future improved cooperation (with the IAEA). And we think the international environment is also very conducive to this issue...
Last month, Iran agreed to longstanding IAEA demands for tighter surveillance of its rapidly expanding Natanz uranium enrichment plant and restored some access to a heavy-water reactor of proliferation concern.
But the IAEA has called for more far-reaching transparency from Iran to defuse mistrust around its nuclear ambitions.
It wants Iran to permit snap inspections ranging beyond declared nuclear sites to verify that no secret work devoted to weaponizing nuclear know-how is going on, and address what it calls credible intelligence pointing to past military dimensions to enrichment rather than just deny it without offering proof.
The alleged studies (intelligence) is from our point of view a dead issue. This is just like a movie which is very consistent and comprehensive but at the end it is a fiction, Salehi said, speaking in English.
We are not here to prove the fictional movie is real...
Iran has said it is enriching uranium only for electricity, not to perfect means to fuel atom bombs as the West fears.
Iran has agreed to wide-ranging talks with six world powers, likely to be held in Turkey. It has ruled out discussing its own nuclear activities, but Salehi said on Monday the powers could still raise any question they wished at the talks.
(Editing by Louise Ireland)