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. Iran hopes to avoid nuclear sanctions with IAEA talks
TEHRAN, Aug 7 (AFP) Aug 07, 2007
Iran expressed hope on Tuesday that its recent moves to step up cooperation with the UN atomic watchdog would lead to the West dropping attempts to impose a third set of UN sanctions.

"The West evoked certain ambiguities in the Iranian nuclear programme when deciding the resolutions and sanctions against Iran," said Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, the deputy head of Iran's supreme national security council.

"It is now natural to expect that parallel with Iran's cooperation to solve the remaining questions, confidence-building measures are taken by the other side like not adopting more sanctions," he told the state-run IRNA agency.

Iran is currently engaged in discussions with the International Atomic Energy Agency aimed at providing reassurances over the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.

Four IAEA officials arrived in Iran Monday for talks aimed at agreeing a framework for future inspections of the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz in central Iran, the country's most sensitive nuclear site.

A group of UN inspectors last week made their first visit in months to the Arak heavy water reactor, one of the key Western concerns over the Iranian nuclear programme.

Iran has also held two rounds of talks with IAEA deputy director general Olli Heinonen and third session is expected on August 20.

However, the central demand of world powers remains that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment activities, which they fear could be diverted to make nuclear weapons.

Iran has repeatedly refused to yield to the pressure despite two previous sets of sanctions agreed by the UN Security Council and insists that its nuclear programme is peaceful.

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