Iran Nuclear NewsIran, IAEA end latest round of nuclear talks

Iran, IAEA end latest round of nuclear talks

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Reuters: Iran and a team from a U.N. watchdog ended the latest round of talks in Tehran on Wednesday aimed at answering questions about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear work, an Iranian news agency said. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran and a team from a U.N. watchdog ended the latest round of talks in Tehran on Wednesday aimed at answering questions about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear work, an Iranian news agency said.

Experts from the two sides held three days of talks as part of an August agreement to clear up suspicions about Tehran’s atomic plans, the ISNA news agency said, without saying whether the meeting produced any results.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) delegation arrived in Tehran on Sunday, less than a week after a U.S. intelligence report said Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003.

Iran denies ever having had such a military programme but welcomed the report that contradicted the U.S. administration’s assertions that Tehran was actively working on a nuclear bomb.

Iran and the U.N. body agreed in August on a timetable to answer outstanding questions about nuclear activities which Tehran says are aimed at generating electricity.

Previous rounds of talks dealt with centrifuges used to enrich uranium and other issues.

This week’s talks focused on questions about particles of arms-grade enriched uranium found by IAEA inspectors at Tehran’s Technical University, ISNA said.

“It is not clear yet whether the discussions on this issue will continue in the future or whether the agency’s experts … have completely received their answers,” it said.

Enriched uranium can be used both for fuelling power plants and, if refined much further, for making bombs. But Iran says it wants to refine uranium only as an alternative source of electricity so it can export more of its oil and gas.

The IAEA said in a report last month Tehran was cooperating but not proactively. IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei said Iran was making “good progress” in solving questions about its plans.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed two sets of limited sanctions on Tehran for its refusal to halt enrichment, the part of Iran’s programme that most worries the West.

Last week’s U.S. report released by the 16 intelligence agencies is expected to complicate U.S. efforts to push through new U.N. sanctions against Iran over its atomic work.

U.S. President George W. Bush said after the report that Iran still remained a danger because it was mastering technology with a military use.

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