International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei confirmed that representatives of Iran and its three interlocutors -- the US, Russia and France -- had accepted the draft, which still has to be finalised by the four nations' capitals. He hoped that would occur by tomorrow night.
"I have circulated a draft agreement that in my judgment reflects a balanced approach to how to move forward," he told reporters, suggesting that all four parties had worked hard to overcome differences exacerbated by suspicions that Iran may be interested in nuclear weapons.
Tehran insists its activities are peaceful and meant only to generate energy.
"Everybody who participated at the meeting was trying to look at the future, not at the past, trying to heal the wounds," Dr ElBaradei said.
"I very much hope that people see the big picture, see that this agreement could open the way for a complete normalisation of relations between Iran and the international community."
He gave no details of what was in the package. But diplomats said it was essentially the original proposal drawn up by the IAEA that would commit Tehran to shipping 75 per cent of its enriched uranium stockpile to Russia for further enrichment.
After that material is turned into metal fuel rods, it would be shipped back to Iran to power its small research reactor in Tehran.
While essentially technical, such a deal would have significant political and strategic ramifications. It would commit Iran to turn over more than 1200kg of low-enriched uranium. That would ease fears about Iran's nuclear program, since 1000kg is the amount of low-enriched uranium needed to produce weapons-grade uranium.
Meanwhile, Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari, who was detained for nearly four months in Iran, has been released to rejoin his pregnant wife.
Bahari, 43, was one of hundreds arrested on June 21 during the crackdown that followed the country's disputed presidential election.
Source: The Australian