US To Judge Iran's Deal With IAEA On Action

The potential deal between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog on nuclear inspection was a "step forward", said the White House on Tuesday while stressing that the deal would be ultimately judged by Tehran's actions.

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano, center, from Japan speaks to the media after returning from Iran at the Vienna International Airport near Schwechat, Austria, on Tuesday, May 22, 2012. Amano says he has reached a deal with Iran on probing suspected work on nuclear weapons and adds that the agreement will "be signed quite soon."

Washington: The potential deal between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog on nuclear inspection was a "step forward", said the White House on Tuesday while stressing that the deal would be ultimately judged by Tehran's actions.

The White House statement came after Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), announced on Tuesday that an agreement on probing suspected work on Iran's controversial nuclear programme was expected to be signed soon, Xinhua reported.

"I think it's important to note that the announcement today (Tuesday) is a step forward," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing. "It's an agreement in principle. It represents a step in the right direction."

"But as we've said in the past about the totality of Iran's obligations and their fulfilment of them, we will make judgments about Iran's behaviour based on actions, not just promises or agreements," he noted.

The potential agreement is meant to give the UN nuclear watchdog access to sites, scientists and documents it seeks to address international concerns over Iran's nuclear activities.

The IAEA's announcement came a day before the nuclear talks between Iran and the world's major powers, namely Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US plus Germany, are due to start in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.