(BAGHDAD) — The White House warily welcomed news Tuesday of Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency coming to an agreement to allow U.N. inspectors access to key nuclear scientists and research facilities that have been barred to them up to now.
Tehran is hoping that this move ahead of Wednesday’s summit in Bahgdad with the U.S. and five other nations will give it the upper hand in talks to greatly reduce Iran’s nuclear activities.
Obama administration press secretary Jay Carney suggested to reporters that the world has been down this road before with Iran.
While acknowledging that it was a step forward in the long dispute with Iran, Carney stressed, “Promises are one thing, actions and fulfillment of obligations are another.”
Despite the prospects of open access to IAEA monitors, the so-called “5+1” bloc made up of the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia will press Iran to lower its uranium enrichment levels, making it impossible to create atomic bombs.
The Iranian government maintains that its program is purely for peaceful purposes, a claim doubted by virtually all of America’s allies.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN