AFP: Iranian officials said on Thursday they were satisfied with the results of their latest talks with a UN atomic agency deputy director general over Iran’s contested nuclear programme. TEHRAN (AFP) Iranian officials said on Thursday they were satisfied with the results of their latest talks with a UN atomic agency deputy director general over Iran’s contested nuclear programme.
Olli Heinonen late on Thursday wrapped up four days of talks in Tehran over Iran’s use of uranium-enriching P1 centrifuges and research into the more sophisticated P2 versions as part of an August agreement between the two sides.
A top Iranian nuclear official said Tehran had answered all the questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and that both sides were satisfied with the results.
“The IAEA delegation and Iran voiced satisfaction on the trend of talks on issues over P1 and P2,” deputy supreme national security council head Javad Vaeedi told state broadcasting.
“In these negotiations Mr Heinonen and the other experts presented all the questions and ambiguities they had. The Iranian side gave all the answers to address their questions,” he said.
Heinonen was not quoted as making any comments after the talks.
Iranian ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh told the ISNA news agency: “The results of these talks will be given in the report in the first half of November at the winter session of the IAEA board of governors.”
The talks are part of a deal Heinonen clinched in August for Iran to answer outstanding questions over its atomic programme so the agency can conclude a four-year investigation into its nature.
The accord was in essence a timetable that set out when and what questions Iran should answer.
As a first stage, it answered questions about past experiments with plutonium and it appears that the discussions over P1 and P2 centrifuges were the second phase of the accord.
Vaeedi said if the IAEA’s report concluded that the issue of P1 and P2 centrifuges had been finished then “according to the framework” the two parties would move on to the next outstanding issues, the Mehr news agency reported.
He said there would be no more discussions on the centrifuges before the IAEA meeting.
Heinonen’s visit came days after IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei sparked controversy with the US and French governments by declaring that he had no evidence to show that Iran was seeking nuclear weapons.
The United States — which wants a third set of UN sanctions against Tehran — has been highly critical of the IAEA-Iran accord, saying it does not go far enough.
Washington accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons and has never ruled out the option of military action to end its defiance. Iran insists it wants only to generate electricity for a growing population.
“It’s very important that we send this message that there is going to be a price to what Iran does. And that price will be increased isolation and heightened sanctions,” US Under-secretary of State Nicholas Burns said ahead of a meeting with ElBaradei.
However Iran has repeatedly refused to give in to the key demand of the West to end the crisis — that it halt uranium enrichment, an activity that can be used for civilian and military purposes.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, visiting Iran’s arch-enemy Israel, raised the possibility of EU sanctions against Iran should Tehran maintain its defiance.
“If Iran refuses to provide answers, we should think about the possibility of European sanctions,” he told a news conference.