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Iran: IAEA Chief to Visit Tehran This Week


FILE - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano arrives for a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Nov. 20, 2014.

Iran's nuclear chief said late Monday that the head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog will visit Tehran later this week.

Ali Akbar Salehi made the comments to Iranian television after meeting in Vienna with International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano.

The IAEA will be the body in charge of overseeing the agreement Iran reached in July with a group of six world powers to limit its nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief. At the same time, Iran and the IAEA came to a separate agreement on a roadmap toward resolving longstanding questions about possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear activity.

Iran has long denied it sought to build nuclear weapons, insisting its program was for peaceful purposes such as medical research and power generation.

The IAEA said talks with Iran on implementing their agreement were ongoing, but that a visit by Amano was under consideration.

The agency is due to deliver a final report on its probe by December 15. Only then will the deal between Iran and the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia go forward, including the lifting of sanctions that have hobbled Iran's economy.

Salehi said a 12-member team of inspectors was due in Tehran on Tuesday and that he hopes the two sides will resolve their remaining issues by then so that the larger nuclear deal can be implemented.

In the U.S., Republican lawmakers in the Senate opposed to the pact tried again to advance a resolution rejecting the accord. The measure failed Tuesday to gain the 60 votes needed to advance, just as it did last Thursday. The vote was 56 to 42.

But as the country gears up for next year's presidential election, the national security adviser for Vice President Joe Biden said the pact would remain controversial.

Colin Kahl told VOAs' Persian service, "This is a controversial subject. And our opponents have done their best to demonize the president and demonize this deal. We are moving forward. We are going to implement the deal. If Iran complies with its side of the bargain, we will comply with ours, and I think the proof will be in the pudding."