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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA, Iran to continue nuclear talks in Vienna Tuesday

RIA Novosti

24/07/2007 11:30 TEHRAN, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - Iran will resume talks on its controversial nuclear program with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the Austrian capital Vienna Tuesday, an Iranian envoy to the IAEA said.

"The second round of talks between Iran and the IAEA aimed at removing the agency's remaining questions [on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program] will be held Tuesday in Vienna," Ali Asghar Soltanieh told the Iranian Fars news agency.

The first round of talks, at which UN weapons inspectors and Iranian authorities discussed an "action plan" put forward by Tehran, was held July 11-12 in Tehran.

Olli Heinonen, deputy head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, said at the time that the sides had agreed on several issues, including Tehran's consent to allow IAEA experts to inspect a heavy-water reactor near the town of Arak with a production capacity of eight tons per year.

Iran has been found in contempt of three consecutive UN resolutions against its nuclear program since last year, with the six negotiator countries (UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany) demanding that Tehran suspend all enrichment prior to negotiating a solution to its controversial program, which Western powers suspect is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

Iran has denied the accusation, saying it needs nuclear power purely to generate electricity.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has consistently stated that the country would proceed with uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes and in compliance with IAEA requirements, but said Iran was ready to allay Western concerns by cooperating.

Tehran has also insisted that Tuesday's negotiations should be considered a separate process from the talks between EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani.

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