Iran, IAEA to Hold Meeting Saturday

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Officials representing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are slated to hold a new round of talks with Iranian nuclear authorities in the capital Tehran today, an Iranian official said.

Iran, IAEA to Hold Meeting Saturday

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said on Friday that the negotiations are aimed at forging closer cooperation between Tehran and the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

Earlier on Friday evening, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of Department of Safeguards Tero Tapio Varjoranta, accompanied by two other officials from the UN nuclear body, arrived in Tehran to hold the talks, Kamalvandi said.

According to the spokesman, today’s talks will see Varjoranta and Iran's Ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, in attendance.

Last week, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi had announced that the IAEA inspectors have carried out an inspection of the country’s entire nuclear facilities, adding that they will make a report to the agency in the near future.

Salehi also noted that the IAEA’s inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities are being conducted smoothly.

Iran and the UN nuclear body signed a joint statement in November 2013 to outline a roadmap on bilateral cooperation on certain outstanding issues.

Under the deal, Iran agreed, on a voluntary basis, to allow the IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water plant and the Gachin uranium mine.

The IAEA inspectors had already visited the Arak heavy water production plant on December 8, 2013. And later on January 29, a 3-member team of the inspectors carried out an inspection of Gachin uranium mine in southern Iran.

In the meantime, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said on January 31 that after recent progress with Iran, it is time to handle “more difficult” issues pertaining to its nuclear program.

“We started with measures that are practical and easy to implement, and then we move on to more difficult things,” Amano said.

“We certainly wish to include issues with possible military dimensions in future steps ... We have already discussed it and will continue to discuss it at the next meeting” between the IAEA and Iran on February 8, he said.

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