VIENNA — The U.N. nuclear monitoring agency on Wednesday announced what it called a "milestone" agreement with Iran that aims to provide answers about allegations that Tehran tried to develop nuclear weapons.
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen and his team had agreed with Iran to start a process aiming to clarify the issue in May.
"That is certainly a milestone and hopefully by the end of May we will be in a position to get the explanation and clarification from Iran as to these alleged studies," ElBaradei said.
Tehran has denied ever trying to make nuclear weapons and has rejected the evidence as fake.
Iran is under three sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment and meet other council demands designed to ease fears its civilian nuclear program is a cover for attempts to make atomic arms.
Any agreement by Iran to at least further discuss the allegations is a positive sign.
Intelligence received by the IAEA from the United States and other agency board member nations and the agency's own investigations suggest that Iran was researching construction of an underground site that apparently could be used for test nuclear explosions and ordered "dual use" equipment from abroad that could be part of a nuclear weapons program.