Iran met its deadline, gave the IAEA information about past nuclear activities

The reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant as fuel is loaded on Aug. 21, 2010 in Bushehr, southern Iran.
Iran International Photo Agency

Iran has given the world's leading nuclear watchdog information about its past nuclear activities by an agreed upon deadline, according to news reports. The move is in keeping with an agreement reached by world powers last month to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. 

As part of that agreement, Iran said it would provide answers to any remaining questions the international community had about its past nuclear activities, Reuters reports. The IAEA, a United Nations agency, confirmed that Iran submitted the requested information by the agreed upon deadline Saturday.

"Iran today provided the IAEA with its explanation in writing and related documents as agreed in the road-map for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear program," the IAEA said in a statement Saturday. The IAEA did not provide any additional information about the documents or what they include.

Iran's compliance with the IAEA's request appears to signal a change of course for the Islamic republic, which had previously stalled in giving over more details about its nuclear program, particularly those pertaining to years before 2003.

Western powers have long suspected that Iran's atomic activities pertained to developing a nuclear weapon, while Iran has insisted its program was for purely peaceful purposes. The new information submitted to the IAEA could settle the debate, though it's too soon to tell.

The Wall Street Journal reports on other signs in recent weeks that Iran was resisting an IAEA probe. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told the Journal that Iran had so far refused to allow UN inspectors to interview key scientists and military officers.

Sanctions will be lifted only if the IAEA says Iran has agreed to a range of measures aimed at shrinking its nuclear program — the information submitted Saturday about its past nuclear activities is only one part of the equation.

The IAEA has a month to analyze the information. Follow-up discussions are planned for Tehran in September and October.

US lawmakers vote on the Iran deal next month.