'Unannounced visits' to n-facilities part of Iran's proposal

Geneva/Tehran Oct 16 (IANS) Unannounced visits to nuclear facilities in Iran is part of the country's proposal at the ongoing negotiations with the five UN Security Council members and Germany in Geneva.

Iran will accept the "additional protocol" to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Abbas Araqchi, who is leading Iran's nuclear talks with the world powers in Geneva, told the semi-official ISNA news agency, Xinhua reported Wednesday.

The protocol allows unexpected inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and obliges Iran to provide the agency with any information regarding its nuclear activities.

The official IRNA news agency Wednesday confirmed reports of the inclusion of "additional protocol" in Iran's proposed package in the nuclear talks.

Araqchi told ISNA that the level of Iran's uranium enrichment and implementing "additional protocol" are parts of Iran's proposal included in its last stage.

Earlier, Iran announced that it would put forward a three-stage proposal in the Geneva nuclear talks.

The proposal package, if agreed upon at the first stage, will automatically commit the other party to "the recognition of the uranium enrichment right on Iran's soil" as the objective of the negotiations, ISNA said.

The Iranian negotiator added that Iran waits for "change of approach" from the world powers in the talks.

The climate at Tuesday's negotiations was "positive" and both sides conducted "serious" talks and tried to avoid "disputable discussions", said Araqchi, adding that "we have witnessed positive tone in the other party, but their approach hasn't changed yet".

It would be difficult to advance in the talks without a change in approach, he emphasised.

The Iranian negotiator added that Iran's offer is just a proposal and is subject to modifications, according to ISNA.

Iran and the P5+1 representatives - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany - had "very detailed technical discussions" during the new round of Iran nuclear talks, Michael Mann, spokesman for EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, had said Tuesday.

It was reported that Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif gave a power-point presentation of Iran's proposals in the meeting Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, a source close to the talks told the Russian ITAR-TASS news agency Iran wanted to hold the next round of talks with the P5+1 at the ministerial level.

"Iranians want the US secretary of state and other ministers to take part in the talks," the source was quoted as saying.

Earlier in the day, a source in the Iranian delegation told ITAR-TASS the next round of talks between Iran and P5+1 may take place in Geneva in November.

While the negotiations between the two sides were going on, the source was quoted as saying: "The talks are tense, but intensive."

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