Iran Nuclear NewsIran deputy nuclear negotiator to meet Solana's top aide

Iran deputy nuclear negotiator to meet Solana’s top aide

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AFP: Iran’s deputy nuclear negotiator said on Saturday he will meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana’s top aide next week to try to pave the way for a meeting between their bosses. TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran’s deputy nuclear negotiator said on Saturday he will meet EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana’s top aide next week to try to pave the way for a meeting between their bosses.

Javad Vaidi said he and Robert Cooper would hold talks in Vienna on Wednesday on the sidelines of an International Atomic Energy Agency board meeting to arrange the encounter between Solana and Saeed Jalili, Iran’s new nuclear pointman, the ISNA news agency reported.

Solana’s spokeswoman Cristina Gallach said on Friday that the EU foreign policy chief would file a key report on Iran’s willingness to engage in nuclear talks with or without a new meeting with Jalili.

Solana must report to the UN Security Council by the end of November, and he has been trying, so far with little success, to organise a meeting with Jalili before then.

His aim, since June last year, has been to convince Iran to resume talks on suspending uranium enrichment in exchange for a package of political and economic incentives.

In a sign of the diplomatic tussle behind the scenes, Iran said last weekend that Solana and Jalili, a close ally of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, would meet at the end of the month.

But Solana’s office later denied that any talks had been arranged.

His report is considered crucial for the Security Council to decide whether to impose new sanctions on Iran, which the West fears is trying to covertly develop a nuclear weapon.

An IAEA report issued this week said Iran had taken important steps in revealing the extent of its nuclear programme but was still defying UN demands that it suspend uranium enrichment.

Iran denies seeking weapons and has vowed to press on with its nuclear activities, which it insists are aimed at energy production.

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