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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran, IAEA team start 2nd round of N-talks

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, July 12, IRNA
Iranian nuclear officials and a team of the UN nuclear watchdog started their second round of talks here Thursday morning.

A five-member delegation of technical, legal and political experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), led by its Safeguard chief Olli Heinonen, arrived in Tehran Wednesday on a three-day visit to hold talks with senior Iranian nuclear officials.

The first round of talks between Iranian officials, headed by Deputy Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) for International Affairs Javad Vaeedi, and the IAEA team lasted for three hours here on Wednesday.

The outcome of Iran-IAEA nuclear talks are expected to be announced Thursday evening.

The IAEA director for safeguards operations, Herman Nackartes, its legal advisor, Johan Rautenbach, and director in charge of the agency's external relations and policy coordination, Vilmos Cxerveny, are other members of the IAEA team to Tehran.

The Iranian negotiator team is comprised of Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) for International Affairs Mohammad Saeedi, Iran's permanent representative to the IAEA Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh and a number of Foreign Ministry and the AEOI officials.

Special representatives of the IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei are to hold talks with Iranian nuclear officials on drawing up a framework to settle unresolved issues regarding Iran's peaceful nuclear case.

The idea of drawing up of the framework was put forward by the SNSC Secretary Ali Larijani while he was in Madrid, Spain, last month for talks with the European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Iran's peaceful nuclear program.

During his talks with Solana, Larijani dismissed the idea of suspension of uranium enrichment calling it, "outdated, insufficient and impractical".

Later, in a meeting with ElBaradei in Vienna on June 22, Larijani invited IAEA team to visit Iran to discuss drawing up of an "action plan" to put an end to the stalemate between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog.

Vaeedi has said Tehran and the IAEA are expected to draw up a framework on how to settle the remaining issues within 60 days.

The framework could be implemented should the West stop making efforts to disturb the process, he added.

Meanwhile, on the eve of the IAEA delegation's visit to Tehran, ElBaradei said on Monday that Iran has slowed down the process of installation of centrifuges in its nuclear facilities.

Showing reaction to ElBaradei's remarks on Wednesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "Iran has a transparent nuclear stance and will proceed based on the scheduled plan."

"The installation process may slow down or speed up. This is an executive work. But no one should expect us to give up our rights and suspend the process of activities," Ahmadinejad added.

He stressed, "All Iran's nuclear activities are carried out within the framework of the IAEA regulations.

"We will not retreat even one iota from the absolute rights of the Iranian nation."

Ahmadinejad, however, said, "We advocate dialogue and are ready to remove any ambiguities over Iran's peaceful nuclear program."


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