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Unusually good forecast for Iran nuclear talks (+video)

UN nuclear chief Yukiya Amano today announced an agreement with Iran to clear up remaining questions about Iran nuclear weapons work ahead of tomorrow's talks in Baghdad.

UN nuclear chief Yukiya Amano talks with chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.
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The atmospherics have rarely been so good on the eve of Iran nuclear negotiations, which are set to resume tomorrow in Baghdad between world powers and the Islamic Republic.

United Nations nuclear agency chief Yukiya Amano today announced an agreement with Iran that was expected to deepen inspections and clear up remaining questions about possible weapons-related work – issues that have plagued Iran's nuclear dossier for years. Speaking in Vienna after a high-profile visit to Tehran on Monday, Mr. Amano said "important" progress had been made on a framework plan and that an accord would be signed "quite soon."

Yet as expectations of progress have grown in recent weeks, analysts question whether Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei can rise above domestic and ideological issues and strike a deal.

Ayatollah Khamenei is torn between hard-liners who reject any agreement with the West in principle – his own rhetoric has long pointed in that direction – and the benefits of global recognition of Iran's nuclear program, with a deal that also avoids war and eases crippling sanctions.

"The only thing that makes me doubt is: Up there [for Khamenei] is there a will to go ahead and make a deal, or not?" asks a veteran analyst in Tehran who preferred not to be named.

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