Iran, World Leaders Agree to More Talks
By VOA News
01 October 2009
Iran has agreed to allow United Nations inspectors access to its second uranium enrichment plant during talks with six world powers in Geneva.
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana Thursday said Iran has promised to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency on inspections of the facility, located near the holy city of Qom.
The IAEA says its chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, will travel to Iran soon to discuss a number of issues related to Iran's nuclear program. ElBaradei had said Iran broke an IAEA law by not disclosing its second nuclear plant much earlier.
During Thursday's talks in Geneva, Solana said diplomats agreed to "intensify dialogue" in coming weeks and hold a second meeting on Iran's nuclear program before the end of October. Iran's nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said "good" discussions had taken place and that talks will continue.
U.S. President Barack Obama called Thursday's meeting a constructive beginning but said Iran must now take constructive action regarding its nuclear program.
President Obama says Iran must show its commitment to transparency, allowing IAEA unfettered access to its Qom facility in two weeks.
Mr. Obama says Iran must also take concrete steps to prove its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, including transferring some of its uranium to third parties for enrichment and then having it shipped back to the country.
He said the United States will not negotiate indefinitely and is committed to seeing action on the part of Iran.
U.S. Under Secretary of State William Burns met Thursday with Iran's nuclear negotiator on the sidelines of the meeting, in what is believed to be the highest-level talks between the two countries in years.
Thursday's main session also included leaders from Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
Western nations are concerned that Iran is trying to make a nuclear weapon, and hope the talks will lead to a halt in its nuclear activities.
Iran has said it is enriching uranium to generate electricity.
The United Nations has already imposed three rounds of sanctions on Iran over its uranium enrichment program.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|