• IAEA convenes Board of Governors to discuss Iran verification plan


    VIENNA: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Secretary-General Yukiya Amano will convene a meeting of the Board of Governors on January 24 to discuss a nuclear verification programme for Iran.

    “I have received a request from Iran and the E3/EU+3 that the Agency conducts monitoring and verification of nuclear-related measures in relation to the Joint Plan of Action,” Amano said in a statement on Wednesday, January 15.

    He has requested that a meeting of the Board of Governors be convened on January 24, to consult with the Board regarding the request by Iran and the E3/EU+3 for the Agency to undertake monitoring and verification of nuclear-related measures in relation to the Joint Plan of Action.

    Amano also welcomed the recent announcement by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton regarding the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear program, which is to take effect as of January 20.

    The foreign ministers of the European Union may lift some of the economic sanctions on Iran at their meeting in Brussels on January 20, following progress at the talks on the Iranian nuclear program reached late last year, an official at Ashton’s press service said on Monday.

    Her spokesperson, Maja Kocijancic, said the EU would keep its word to ease economic sanctions against Iran.

    The agreement reached by and between Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany) in Geneva last year may become effective on January 20, the IRNA news agency reported earlier this month.

    Director General for Political and International Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hamid Baeedi-nejad, who leads the Iranian delegation to the expert-level negotiations, said that after consultations, Iranian and P5+1 experts had found this date suitable for starting the implementation of the plan approved in Geneva in November 2013.

    A new round of technical consultations between Iran and the P5+1 at the level of experts ended in Geneva on Tuesday, December 31, 2013. A source involved in the negotiating process told ITAR-TASS that “substantial progress” had been achieved.

    The main purpose of the consultations was to work out concrete steps to implement the Joint Plan of Action, which was agreed at the ministerial level in Geneva in late November 2013.

    After many days of intensive discussions, the sides agreed the joint action plan in November. According to the plan, which spans a period of six months, Tehran pledged not to enrich uranium above a 5 percent concentration, not to continue fuel enrichment operations at Natanz, Fordo and Arak, and not to create new enrichment facilities.

    Western countries, in turn, agreed to ease economic sanctions on Iran.

    The deal was called the first step to be followed by a comprehensive agreement, which, on the one hand, should resolve the international community’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear program and, on the other hand, remove economic sanctions that slow down Iran’s economic development.

    The P5+1 is a group of countries which in 2006 joined the diplomatic efforts with Iran in regard to its nuclear program. The term refers to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, namely the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. PNA


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