From AP, :
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday said that a preliminary agreement between Iran and the European Union’s three big powers over Tehran’s nuclear program was a “step in the right direction.”
Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the Vienna-based U.N. agency, said he hoped the agreement will be made official in the coming days.
The preliminary agreement was worked out in Paris with Britain, France and Germany, chief Iranian negotiator Hossein Mousavian told state-run Iranian television on Sunday.
If approved, the deal would be a major breakthrough after months of threats and negotiations. It could spare Iran from being taken before the U.N. Security Council, where the United States has warned it would seek economic sanctions unless Tehran gives up all uranium enrichment activities, a technology that can produce nuclear fuel or atomic weapons.
“I would hope that this would lead to the desired outcome, which is Iran to suspend both its enrichment and reprocessing related activities and open the way for normalization of Iran’s relations with the international community,” said ElBaradei speaking from a conference on nuclear security in Australia.
Meanwhile, Iranian lawmakers “are collecting support for a draft bill banning the production of nuclear weapons,” legislator Mohmoud Mohammadi told The Associated Press.
Mohammadi said the bill could be presented to the parliament next week. He said the draft was prompted by a religious verdict by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, has said that production, stockpiling and using nuclear weapons was un-Islamic and against human interests.
“Ayatollah Khamenei’s verdict is clear,” Mohammadi said. “So why not make the production of nuclear weapons illegal under Iranian law?”
In proposals to Iran last month, Britain, Germany and France offered a trade deal and peaceful nuclear technology – including a light-water research reactor – if Iran pledged to indefinitely suspend uranium enrichment and related activities such as reprocessing uranium and building centrifuges used to enrich it.
It will be interesting to see how those last two paragraphs play out.