UN nuclear chief to visit Iran before probe deadline

Written by Reuters | Updated: Aug 17 2014, 06:53am hrs
UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano will visit Iran on Sunday in an apparent attempt to push for progress in a long-running investigation into suspected atomic bomb research by Tehran.

Amanos trip comes ahead of an August 25 deadline for Iran to provide some information relevant to the International Atomic Energy Agencys inquiry into what it calls the possible military dimensions of the countrys disputed nuclear programme. Iran dismisses western accusations that it has been working to develop a capability to assemble atomic weapons.

The visitannounced by the IAEA on Fridaywill be Amanos first to Iran this year and the third since 2012.

Western officials say Iranian clarifications of the IAEAs concerns would also advance efforts by six world powers to negotiate an end to a decade-old standoff over Tehrans atomic activities, suggesting some sanctions relief may depend on it.