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Iran and IAEA hail talks, agree to continue dialogue on May 21

Source: Mehr News Agency

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have agreed to continue talks on May 21.

After the second day of talks in Vienna on Tuesday, the Iranian ambassador to the agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, and the IAEA deputy director general and head of the Department of Safeguards, Herman Nackaerts, told reporters that the two sides will meet again in Vienna on May 21 for more talks, AP reported.

Nackaerts said, "We discussed a number of options to take the agency verification process forward," according to Bloomberg.

"We had a good exchange of views," he added.

According to Bloomberg's report, Soltanieh stated, "We had fruitful discussions in a very conducive environment."

"We have had progress," the Iranian ambassador stated.

Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh
(file photo)

Before Tuesday's meeting, Soltanieh said, "We had good talks. Everything is (on the) right track. The environment is very constructive."

Before the first day of talks on Monday, Nackaerts told reporters, "The aim of our two days (of talks) is to reach agreement on an approach to resolve all outstanding issues with Iran."

"It is important now that... Iran let us have access to people, documents, information, and sites," he stated, without referring to any particular site.

However, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said on May 4 that gaining access to the Parchin military site, which is located southeast of Tehran, will be the priority for the UN nuclear watchdog when it resumes talks with Tehran.

Tehran rejected requests by the IAEA delegations to inspect the Parchin site during their visits to Iran from January 29 to 31 and February 21 to 22 and has made it clear that a framework must be agreed on for any access or visit.

Claims have been made that Iran may be trying to sanitize the Parchin site of any evidence of explosives tests.

However, Iran has dismissed the claims as a "joke".

The two-day meeting between Iranian and IAEA officials was held ahead of a new round of talks between Tehran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) over Iran's nuclear program, which is scheduled to be held in Baghdad on May 23.

The main bone of contention between Tehran and the West is Iran's uranium enrichment program.

Iran says all its nuclear activities are totally peaceful, and, as an International Atomic Energy Agency member and a nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty signatory, it has the legal right to produce nuclear fuel for its research reactors and nuclear power plants.

The UN Security Council has approved four rounds of sanctions on Iran in order to pressure the country over its nuclear program.

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