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Iran to answer UN nuclear questions as deal talks near end

VIENNA (AP) – Iran has agreed to supply answers long sought by the United Nations’ (UN) nuclear watchdog, Tehran and the UN agency said on Saturday, as talks in Vienna over its tattered atomic deal with world powers appear to be coming to an end.

A joint statement by Head of the Civilian Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami and Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy, came hours after the two met in Tehran.

It envisions the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reaching conclusions on the discovery of uranium particles at former undeclared sites in Iran by June. The move is separate from the talks over the nuclear deal but could help push them to a conclusion.

But meanwhile, Russia’s foreign minister for the first time linked American sanctions on Moscow over its war on Ukraine to the ongoing Iran nuclear deal talks – adding a new wrinkle to the delicate diplomacy.

Grossi said in Tehran that “it would be difficult to believe or to imagine that such an important return to such a comprehensive agreement… would be possible if the agency and Iran would not be seeing eye to eye on how to resolve these important safeguards issues”.

International Atomic Energy Organization Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in Tehran. PHOTO: AP

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