Iran-UN nuclear watchdog to hold new talks
TEHRAN, Aug 19 (AFP) Aug 19, 2007
Top officials from Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog will hold a third round of talks on Monday aimed at agreeing guarantees over the contested Iranian nuclear programme.
The meetings come after Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said Tehran was "continuing its nuclear programme non-stop and under IAEA supervision," Iranian news agencies reported.
Javad Vaeedi, a deputy head of Iran's national security council, will hold two days of talks with IAEA deputy director general Olli Heinonen in Tehran.
"Tomorrow (Monday) the third round of talks will take place in Tehran," Vaeedi told the state news agency IRNA.
"In this round, which will last two days, the remaining issues in Iran's nuclear case will be discussed," added Vaeedi, the number two to top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.
The talks are aimed finding agreement between the two sides over aspects of the Iranian nuclear programme where the agency wants more information and allowing for easier inspections of nuclear sites.
One such issue is over the installation of surveillance cameras at Iran's ultra sensitive uranium enrichment plant in the central city of Natanz. Vaeedi said "no final agreement" had been reached.
The two previous rounds have been held in Vienna and Tehran and notably succeeded in agreeing an IAEA visit to the Arak heavy water reactor on July 30.
Iran has said it hopes the ongoing talks with IAEA officials over improving cooperation with the agency will mean that Western powers drop threats to impose a third set of sanctions over the Iranian nuclear programme.
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 suspend enrichment, arguing that it has every right to the full nuclear fuel cycle. The UN Security Council has punished Tehran's defiance with two sets of sanctions.
Three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- United States, France and Britain -- are in favour of debating further sanctions moves, while Russia and China are more hesitant.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.