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U.N. Nuclear Chief Expected to Visit Iran Next Week: State TV

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano speaks during a meeting with Belarussian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov in Minsk

Tehran – U.N. nuclear agency Chief Yukiya Amano is expected to visit Tehran on November 11, Iranian state television said on Tuesday, a possible sign of progress in a long-stalled investigation into suspected nuclear arms research by Tehran. After years of worsening confrontation with the West, Iran has switched to a conciliatory mode – entailing diplomacy in search of a peaceful solution to its disputed nuclear activity – since the June election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran have held a series of fruitless meetings since early 2012 to agree ground rules for the IAEA’s inquiry, but hopes for a breakthrough have been lifted by Rouhani’s rise. The Islamic Republic denies seeking nuclear weapons, saying it wants only civilian atomic energy.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic energy organization, said he hoped the two sides would reach an agreement during Amano’s visit, state television said on its web site, without giving details. There was no immediate comment from the IAEA, which wants access to sites, officials and documents in Iran, including the Parchin military base where it believes nuclear-related explosives tests might have taken place, possibly a decade ago. (Reuters)

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