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. Iran ready to talk to IAEA about cooperation: EU spokeswoman
MADRID, June 1 (AFP) Jun 01, 2007
Iran is willing to talk with the International Atomic Energy Agency about information access and cooperation, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Friday.

"Iran is ready to discuss outstanding questions with the agency which are linked to information access and cooperation with the agency," she said a day after Solana held discussions with Iran's negotiator Ali Larijani in Madrid.

The spokeswoman added that while there had been no "fundamental breakthrough", the talks had been "positive" and the two would meet again in two weeks. Meanwhile Solana would update world leaders.

After Thursday's talks Solana said there had been "advances on some important issues" but gave no details.

While they had failed to break the deadlock over Tehran's nuclear programme, they would "continue working at a more intense rhythm than we have had in the past few months", he said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency last week issued a damning report, saying that Iran persists in defying UN demands to stop enriching uranium and was hampering the job of its inspectors on the ground.

Solana's spokeswoman said the question of enrichment was still "very difficult" but there was a willingness to carry on negotiating.

It was Solana and Larijani's second meeting in just over a month after a fruitless head-to-head in Turkey in late April.

Prior to the meeting, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on Iran to shift its stance of ignoring sanctions-backed UN demands to halt uranium enrichment work, but Tehran remained defiant.

On Friday she remained highly sceptical after the meeting between Solana and Larijani.

"The only question is are we getting to a point at which the Iranians are prepared to suspend so that negociations can begin," she said while on a visit to Madrid.

"I don't see evidence of it".

Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons, saying it wants only to produce energy for a growing population whose fossil fuels will eventually run out.

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