IAEA’s Top Inspector Gains Access to Iran’s Parchin Site

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors gained access to Iran’s Parchin military complex, breaking a four-year deadlock and moving the sides one step closer toward resolving suspicions over past nuclear work.

The IAEA’s top nuclear inspector, Tero Varjoranta, was accompanied by Director General Yukiya Amano on his visit to Parchin, the agency said on its website. The visit was part of the so-called “road map” agreed between the IAEA and Iran intended to clarify whether the Persian Gulf country pursued nuclear-weapons related research.

Agency officials also held “discussions with high-level Iranian officials” during a visit to Tehran, the Vienna-based agency said in the statement. The talks “focused on the continued implementation of the Road-map,” it said.

The IAEA has until Oct. 15 to conclude its investigation into Iran’s nuclear past, and until Dec. 15 to submit a report to its board of governors assessing the country’s activities. Once that report is complete and Iran meets the terms of its July 14 agreement with world powers, conditions would be met for the lifting of sanctions against its financial and energy sector.

IAEA investigators renewed calls for access to Parchin after a November 2011 report detailed suspicions of Iranian nuclear weapons work. They had previously visited the sprawling complex 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Tehran without finding any evidence of wrong doing.

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