World Bulletin / News Desk
Iran resumed talks on its nuclear programme with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Saturday, the official IRNA news agency said, in discussions expected to broach sensitive military-related issues.
Iran was represented in the discussions by Reza Najafi, its envoy to the IAEA, while the team from the U.N. nuclear watchdog was led by deputy IAEA director general Tero Varjoranta, IRNA said.
Saturday's meeting comes 10 days before Tehran and world powers, building on a landmark interim deal that took effect last month, start talks on a long-term accord on Iran's nuclear aspirations that would avert the threat of a Middle East war.
The spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, Behrouz Kamalvandi, was reported on Friday as saying that Iran's aim was "to answer the IAEA's questions" at the talks.
Diplomats are cautiously optimistic that after Saturday's talks in Tehran the team of senior IAEA inspectors will be able to show at least some progress in gaining Iran's cooperation.
Iran-IAEA ties have improved since last year's election of a relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as president of Iran on a platform to ease the country's international isolation.
Under an agreement signed in November, the IAEA has already visited a heavy water production plant and a uranium mine in Iran. However, those first steps did not go to the heart of its investigation and Western diplomats will watch Saturday's meeting closely to see whether the next phase achieves that.
The IAEA wants Iran to clarify its activities in a range of areas of potential application to developing bombs, including various experiments and computer calculations.
The IAEA's investigation is focused on the question of whether Iran sought atomic bomb technology in the past and, if it did, to determine whether such work has since stopped.
Although separate, the IAEA's inquiry is still closely aligned with the wider-ranging diplomacy betweenTehran and the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.
Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful and that it is Israel's assumed atomic arsenal that threatens peace.Last Mod: 08 Şubat 2014, 11:26