Iran negotiations seem more likely

May 20, 2012 at 3:02 PM

TEHRAN, May 20 (UPI) -- Western officials say Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili may be more keen to strike a deal to diffuse nuclear tensions in Iran.

Yukiya Amano, head of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency was set to arrive in Tehran Monday for negotiations with Jalili, as well as senior officials from Iran's nuclear program, The Guardian reported.

"The focus of the visit will be on the issue of framework," said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in a press conference. "We hope the two sides can reach an agreement and draw up a new framework to answer [IAEA] questions and clear up ambiguities."

This will be the first visit to Tehran by an IAEA chief since Amano's predecessor Mohammed ElBaradei in 2009.

The Guardian reported Western diplomats said over the weekend Tehran seems more interested in making a deal when faced with the prospect of tough sanctions, including a European Union oil embargo. The threat of Israeli military action combined with the crumbling regime of ally Bashar Assad in Syria gives Iran fewer options other than to make a deal, officials said.

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