Iran has reached a deal with the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency to allow expanded inspections of its nuclear sites and provide long-sought information about some of its nuclear activities.
Monday's agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency requires Iran to give inspectors "managed access" within three months to the country's main uranium mine and to a plant producing heavy water for a partially completed nuclear reactor near the city of Arak.
The deal was struck during talks in Tehran with IAEA head Yukiya Amano, whose initiative parallels more far-reaching efforts by the six world powers to reach an accord easing concerns that Iran could one day develop nuclear weapons. an assertion Tehran denies.
In London, Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague said the P5+1 powers would lift some of the sanctions they have imposed on Iran if a preliminary deal over its nuclear program could be reached. He also said the punitive measures could be intensified if negotiations fail.
Despite reports to the contrary, Hague said world powers had a united stance in just-completed talks with Iran and that no one country had vetoed a deal.
In Abu Dhabi Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said critics of the bid to limit Iran's nuclear activity need to let negotiations take their course. He said that includes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who must recognize world powers have not yet reached any agreement in their talks with Iran.
The P5+1 countries are seeking to persuade Iran to suspend work that could allow it to build nuclear weapons in exchange for easing some sanctions against Iran. Those negotiations are due to resume next week.
Israel, which calls Iran's nuclear drive a mortal threat, has warned against any deal that would leave some of Iran's nuclear fuel-making capacity intact, while giving Tehran respite from sanctions.
Kerry said Monday it would not be responsible to ignore an opportunity to come to a verifiable agreement with Iran that would prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.