Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Iran has allegedly agreed to allow international inspectors access to its military facilities under Tehran's "management," Fars new agency reported Sunday.
The purported announcement contradicts previous remarks made by the leadership in Iran on the key sticking point in talks with world powers over its nuclear program.
According to the report, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said in a closed parliamentary session that Iran had "accepted" inspections of its military sites
under the terms of the International Atomic Energy Agency's "Additional Protocol."
He, however, reiterated Iran's stance that it would not permit inspectors access to the country's nuclear scientists.
Fars cited parliamentary representative parliamentary representative Javad Karimi Ghodousi Mashhad told Fars as saying Araghchi had underlined, without elaborating, that Iran would manage the inspections.
The UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been trying to investigate Western allegations that Iran has worked on designing a nuclear warhead. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and that it is working with the IAEA to clear up any suspicions.
UN inspectors regularly monitor Iran's declared nuclear facilities, but the IAEA has complained for years of a lack of access to sites, equipment, documents and people relevant to its probe.
Western officials say Iran must step up cooperation with the IAEA if it wants to reach a broader diplomatic deal with world powers that would gradually end crippling financial and other sanctions on the oil producer.
Negotiators from Iran and the powers will meet in Vienna on Wednesday to try to iron out remaining differences, including the timing of sanctions relief and the future of Iran's atomic research and development program.