Reuters: Two days of talks between Iran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog on an Iranian offer of more nuclear transparency made progress and will continue in the next few weeks, both sides said on Thursday.
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Two days of talks between Iran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog on an Iranian offer of more nuclear transparency made progress and will continue in the next few weeks, both sides said on Thursday.
Iran has offered to draw up an “action plan” to address Western suspicions that its nuclear programme is a front to obtain nuclear arms. Tehran says it needs nuclear technology only to generate power.
The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said it cannot be sure of Iran’s intentions until several questions about its ambitions have been answered.
“We had serious and good meetings. These talks were to reach modalities to resolve outstanding issues. We had constructive and good progress,” Javad Vaeedi, Iran’s deputy nuclear negotiator who headed the Iranian team, told a news conference.
IAEA deputy director Olli Heinonen spoke of “good results” in the joint news conference. He said agreement was reached on four or five points but he did not specify them.
Both sides would meet again in the next few weeks, he said. A senior Iranian nuclear official told reporters another meeting would be held “very soon” but said no date had been set.
Asked if he expected outstanding issues to be resolved, Heinonen said: “Maybe not tomorrow, but in a reasonable (time in the) future, we may be able to resolve the remaining questions.”
Diplomats say the United States and its European Union allies believe Iran’s offer of transparency may simply be a bid to buy time and avert further U.N. measures.
Two rounds of United Nations sanctions have been imposed on Iran since December for failing to halt enrichment, and a third one is being considered.
The IAEA wants explanations for traces of highly enriched — bomb-grade — uranium found on some equipment, and also wants more information about experiments with plutonium and the status of research into an advanced centrifuge able to enrich uranium three times as fast as the model Iran now uses.
The IAEA also wants to know more about documents showing how to cast uranium metal for a bomb core.