UN nuclear watchdog, Iran agree new transparency measures

VIENNA (AFP) - The UN atomic watchdog said Wednesday it has agreed with Iran five new transparency measures, including two concerning a long-stalled probe into Tehran's alleged past efforts to develop atomic weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran, which denies seeking or ever having sought nuclear weapons, has undertaken to provide information on the new steps "by August 25".

The announcement comes after a fourth round of talks between Iran and six world powers in Vienna last week that both sides indicated made no progress towards a comprehensive deal over Tehran's nuclear programme.

One of the key elements in this sought-after deal would be Iran answering some of its many questions on the alleged "possible military dimensions" (PMD) of Tehran's nuclear programme - in other words efforts to design a nuclear bomb.

Iran says that the trove of evidence presented by the IAEA on these activities, which the Vienna agency believes took place before 2003 and possibly since, is based on faulty intelligence provided by the CIA and Israel's Mossad.

The two new PMD steps are "exchanging information" with the IAEA on allegations related to the initiation of high explosives, and providing "mutually agreed relevant information and explanations" on neutron studies.

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