Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Aug. 19 – A senior official from the United Nations nuclear watchdog is holding talks with Iranian officials in Tehran.
Tehran, Iran, Aug. 19 – A senior official from the United Nations nuclear watchdog is holding talks with Iranian officials in Tehran.
Olli Heinonen, the deputy director-genral of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), arrived in Tehran on Monday, the official news agency IRNA reported.
Heinonen held a previous round of talks in Tehran on August 7-8.
The United Nations Security Council voted in March to impose a third set of sanctions on Iran over its refusal to halt its suspected nuclear weapons activity. Resolution 1803 increased the mild trade bans in effect on Iran to include certain goods with both civilian and military uses. Under the new sanctions, certain Iranian companies and banks will have their accounts frozen, and goods entering and leaving Iran must be subjected to inspections.
The Security Council previously imposed two sets of milder sanctions on Tehran in December 2006 and March 2007 over its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment activities which the West suspects is part of a nuclear weapons program.
The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China presented a “revitalised” package of incentives to Tehran last month in return for a commitment to halt enrichment.
Iran's government spokesman said last week the Islamic Republic would not change its stance on enriching uranium "under any circumstances."
Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed on August 2 that the Islamic Republic would not give up its "nuclear rights”, a euphemism for uranium enrichment.
Iran’s rejection of the deal was denounced as “unacceptable” by the Bush administration, and the U.S. Treasury on August 12 blacklisted five Iranian companies involved in nuclear weapons proliferation. Britain announced earlier in August that major world powers have no choice but to “pursue further sanctions against Iran”.