UN atom chief hopeful on Iran deal before Baghdad meet

By REUTERS
May 21, 2012 05:05

VIENNA/DUBAI - The UN nuclear supervisor arrived in Tehran early on Monday voicing optimism he could reach a deal to investigate suspected atom bomb research - a possible breakthrough that Iran may hope could help ease Western sanctions pressure and deflect threats of war.

"I really think this is the right time to reach agreement. Nothing is certain but I stay positive," Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said at Vienna airport, adding "good progress" had already been made.

But though Amano scheduled Monday's talks with Iran at such short notice that diplomats said agreement on new inspections seemed near, few see Tehran convincing Western governments to ease back swiftly on punitive measures when its negotiators meet big power officials in Baghdad on Wednesday.

On his arrival at Imam Khomeini airport Amano was greeted by Iran's permanent representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, state news agency IRNA reported.


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