The IAEA and Iran have agreed a new safeguards regime for the uranium enrichment facillity at Nanantz (to ensure none of the uranium is enriched to bomb-making levels) and also agree inspections of the heavy-water reactor at Arak (to ensure it isn't creating bomb-useable plutonium there). The IAEA seems quite happy about recent progress.
Iran appears to have ceded ground following meetings this week between the IAEA deputy director, Olli Heinonen, Iran's deputy nuclear negotiator, Javad Vaaedi, and Mohammad Saeedi, the deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation."Give us the final result we want, then we'll negotiate" isn't normal diplomacy. Imagine the rightwing outcry if the US aquiesced to such a demand.
Last month, Iran and the IAEA agreed to draw up an "action plan" on how to resolve questions about the country's disputed nuclear programme.
Earlier this week, the head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, said Iran had scaled back its uranium enrichment programme, in an indication that it wanted to resolve the dispute over its nuclear programme.
Members of the UN security council are preparing to debate a third set of sanctions against Iran in response to its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, which can produce fuel for civilian energy or fissile material for a bomb.
Mr ElBaradei said on Monday that the UN might change its mind if Iran finally honoured its promise to answer questions surrounding its programme and froze all enrichment activities.
Iran has said it is ready to remove the ambiguities related to its nuclear activities through negotiations, but rejects enrichment suspension, a condition set by the west for resumption of talks on the case.
Mind you, it would be nice if the IAEA didn't run out of money before all thse safeguards and inspections can be done, wouldn't it? Unless you're determined not to believe any good news about Iran, that is.
(P.S. Ed, if you're going to quote the folks at MEMRI as a source for Iran-bashing, it might be nice if you did a quick search just to make sure they've got their facts right. Like if they've translated key words in the wrong order, totally changing their meaning,for instance.)