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Planned Iran-IAEA talks a proof of Tehran's goodwill: Official

TEHRAN, July 7 (Mehr News Agency) -- A delegation from the IAEA, led by its deputy director Olli Heinonen, will arrive in Tehran next week to resolve the remaining issues between Iran and the agency. The talks will start on Wednesday, July 11.

"The talks are considered a major step by the Islamic Republic of Iran to prove its goodwill and a political determination to clear up any ambiguities about its peaceful (nuclear) activities," Ali-Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy, told the Mehr News Agency in a telephone interview from Vienna.

Soltanieh, who will also be present in Wednesday's talks, stated that the negotiations will focus on "how to resolve the remaining issues between Iran and the IAEA ("modality" plan), drawing up an action plan, and setting a timetable."

He called the talks "very important at the current sensitive juncture."

He said the planned talks are a result of negotiations between Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Larijani and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, and the IAEA Director General Mohammed ElBaradei.

Soltanieh expressed optimistic views on the outcome of the negotiations.

"Results of the Iran-IAEA talks will be reviewed in the next meeting between Larijani and Solana," he said.

"The Islamic Republic will continue its cooperation with the IAEA within the framework of its commitments to the NPT," Soltanieh insisted when asked if Iran will accept any obligations beyond the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to clarify the remaining ambiguities.

Larijani and Solana held four hours talks on June 23 in Lisbon, which Solana described as "very constructive." He said they agreed to meet again this month.

Asked about the possibility of a change in Iran's stances to accept conditional or limited suspension of uranium enrichment, Soltanieh said the Islamic Republic will "never give up its undeniable right to having peaceful nuclear activities including enrichment, and it will incessantly continue its activities under the supervision of the IAEA and in line with its legal commitments."

The UN Security Council has imposed two rounds of sanctions on Iran as it has refused to suspend its uranium enrichment program. Iran is a signatory to the NPT and has legitimate right to nuclear energy for civilian uses.

... Payvand News - 7/7/07 ... --

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