IRAN has agreed to answer remaining questions about past, secret nuclear work within a month, according to a United Nations watchdog.
International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei said in a statement that Tehran gave him information about work to develop an advanced centrifuge able to enrich uranium much faster than the antiquated model it uses now.
ElBaradei met top Iranian leaders over two days last week to push for swifter cooperation to wrap up a long-running IAEA inquiry into its nuclear history and shed light on its current program, which the West suspects will yield atom bombs. Iran denies the accusation.
ElBaradei is anxious to see a standoff between Iran and Western powers over its disputed nuclear ambitions settled peacefully. His concerns were underscored when a US-Iranian naval incident in the Gulf a week ago fanned tensions.
After years of stonewalling that helped lead to UN sanctions, Iran agreed in August to clarify questions about its nuclear past, a process called the "work plan." But an end-of-year target set by ElBaradei passed with issues still open.
"Agreement was reached on the timeline for implementation of all the remaining verification issues specified in the work plan. According to the agreed schedule implementation … should be completed in the next four weeks," the IAEA said.
A diplomatic source said before ElBaradei's rare visit to Iran that the agency inquiry had entered a final phase with Iran addressing US intelligence given to UN inspectors about past attempts to "weaponise" atomic material.