The US has finds unwelcome a plan agreed between Iran and the UN’s nuclear watchdog to clarify Tehran’s nuclear programme. US envoy to the IAEA, Gregory Schulte, said Iran had manipulated the watchdog as a way to avoid harsher sanctions. Iran and the IAEA said they had agreed a timeline for implementing the plan, first announced in July. Western powers suspect Iran of building a nuclear weapons capability. Tehran says its nuclear programme is peaceful. In July, Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency announced a two-month arrangement aimed at clearing up outstanding questions and giving the agency better access to nuclear sites. A timetable for the plan was agreed in Tehran, and will be made public in the next two weeks. Since July’s agreement, Iran has allowed the IAEA’s inspectors to visit its heavy water research reactor at Arak, and has been holding talks with a UN technical team on guidelines for inspecting its uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.
However, some Western analysts have alleged that Tehran is simply trying to play for time, hoping to delay the imposition of further sanctions while it increases its nuclear know-how.