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IAEA Head Cautiously Optimistic On Iran-EU Deal

8 November 2004 -- The director of the UN nuclear monitoring agency has reacted with cautious optimism to news the European Union and Iran have reached a tentative deal on Tehran's controversial nuclear program.

Muhammad el-Baradei said he still had to confirm details of the plan worked out in two days of talks in Paris between officials from Iran and the EU's three big powers -- Britain, Germany, and France.

El-Baradei, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said this morning he hoped the deal included the suspension of uranium-enrichment programs in Iran as a sign of good faith by Tehran.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of its civilian atomic energy program and wants the IAEA to refer Tehran to the Security Council when the agency meets in Vienna on 25 November. Iran denies the charges, saying its nuclear program is only for energy.