Iran agrees to nuclear checks

On 21 October, three European foreign ministers secured an agreement from Iran over its nuclear programme. The agreement could ward off a brewing crisis with the US.


An agreement has been reached between European foreign ministers and Iran over the latter's nuclear programme. The deal comes days before the International Atomic Energy Agency's 31 October deadline (see alsoEURACTIV 21 October 2003). Under the agreement, concluded by foreign ministers Jack Straw of Britain, Dominique de Villepin of France and Joschka Fischer of Germany, Iran would

  • suspend its uranium-enrichment and reprocessing activities
  • answer all the questions set out by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about its nuclear activity over the last year, including undeclared experiments
  • sign an additional protocol to the non-proliferation treaty that will allow unscheduled visits to Iranian nuclear sites by IAEA inspectors

According to the Tehran declaration, the EU ministers in turn recognised Iran's right to develop a civilian nuclear energy programme and held out the prospect of "easier access to modern technology and supplies in a range of areas".

The US reacted cautiously. A White House spokesman said the agreement would be a "positive step in the right direction" if Iran complied.