International inspectors reported Iran boosted cooperation in a probe about some of its past nuclear activities a day before top diplomats are set to meet in Geneva.
Iran provided new information about the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Friday in a 21-page report. The information was released as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday in Geneva.
The information provided to inspectors concerns past neutron modeling that could have application in building a nuclear weapon, according to a senior diplomat with knowledge of the IAEA’s 12-year probe. While the information isn’t enough to clear all the remaining suspicions around Iran’s past work, it signaled that the Persian Gulf country may be prepared to further increase cooperation, said the person who asked not to be named in line with diplomatic rules.
Kerry and Zarif will meet with one month remaining for diplomats to reach their self-imposed June 30 deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement. Negotiators are meeting Friday in Vienna, where drafting has begun on the final text of a deal.
The IAEA also reported that Iran has continued complying with the interim agreement it struck with world powers in November 2013. The country isn’t enriching uranium beyond 5 percent purity, it’s stopped construction of a reactor in Arak and has opened facilities up to more intrusive inspections.
A remaining sticking point between negotiators is the breadth and depth of access that IAEA inspectors will get to sensitive facilities like military bases. Granting such access isn’t on Iran’s agenda, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Friday.
Should an Iran nuclear deal be reached that includes implementation of the strictest IAEA verification measures, inspectors would have the legal right to request access to anyplace in Iran, the diplomat said. However, visits to places like military bases would be complementary and wouldn’t become systemic, the person said.