Israel Skeptical of Iran-IAEA 'Breakthrough' Nuke Deal

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- World powers gathered in Baghdad Wednesday to meet with Iran over its nuclear program. The stakes are high since many nations believe Tehran is building a nuclear bomb.

The meeting comes one day after Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, announced a dramatic breakthrough in talks with the Islamic Republic.

Amano said a new agreement would allow inspectors to re-start a probe into Iran's nuclear program.

But Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was skeptical of the accord.

"The Iranians appear to be trying to reach a technical deal that will create an appearance as if there is progress in the talks to remove some of the pressure ahead of the talks in Baghdad and to postpone an escalation in sanctions," Barak said.

The talks center on forcing Iran to stop highly enriching uranium, which could be used to make atomic weapons and allow inspectors free access to nuclear sites.

"The ideal deal would be whereby Iran stops enrichment at 20 percent, transfers all the enriched uranium at 20 percent abroad for conversion to nuclear fuel, answers all IAEA questions, and of course Iran agrees to a strict regime of inspections of its nuclear program, in return for limited enrichment between 3-1/2 to 5 percent on Iranian soil," Iranian expert Meir Javedanfar, from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, told CBN News.

Iranian presidential adviser Amir Musawi said Iran is demanding two things: to recognize its right to nuclear power and to revoke international sanctions.

Javedanfar believes the sanctions are working.

"The reason why Iran is talking about the nuclear program and is willing to negotiate them, it's a sign that sanctions are working," he said.

He said if the talks fail, Iran will try to raise oil prices, possibly attack NATO soldiers, and increase their belligerent rhetoric against Israel.

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CBN News
Julie Stahl and Chris Mitchell

Julie Stahl and Chris Mitchell

CBN News Mideast Bureau

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