Source: Tehran Times
The UN atomic agency and Iran may hold a new round of nuclear talks in August, diplomats said on Monday, in what would be their first meeting since last month's election of a centrist cleric as the Islamic Republic's president, Reuters reported.
If it does take place, the meeting will be scrutinized by the West for any sign of increased Iranian readiness to compromise in the decade-old dispute over its nuclear program after the June 14 election of Hassan Rohani.
A diplomat in Vienna, where the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is based, said he believed the aim was for an IAEA-Iran meeting in mid-August but that no decision had yet been taken.
"I think that no meeting in August would be a bad sign," another Western envoy said.
That would be shortly before the IAEA issues its next, quarterly report on Iran's nuclear program in late August and ahead of a week-long session of the UN agency's 35-nation governing board in September.
The IAEA-Iran discussions are separate from, but still closely associated with, broader negotiations between Tehran and six world powers aimed at an overall political solution to the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, which the West suspects may be geared to developing nuclear weapons but Tehran insists is entirely peaceful.
The IAEA, in an e-mailed response to a question, said it had no news to report about any future discussions with Iran. They last met in May in Vienna, without achieving a breakthrough.
International hopes for a resolution of the nuclear dispute were boosted by the election of Rohani because he has promised a more conciliatory approach to foreign relations than incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Iran says it is enriching uranium only to fuel nuclear power stations, and for medical purposes.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told Reuters last month he remained committed to dialogue with Iran to address the UN agency's concerns about what it calls the possible military dimensions to the country's nuclear program.
Ten rounds of talks since early 2012 have failed to make progress in reviving the investigation.
The IAEA has called on Iran to sign and implement a structured approach document to resolve the outstanding issues and has stated that gaining access to the Parchin military site, which is located southeast of Tehran, is a priority.
Iran has made it clear that access to the "conventional" military site would not be possible before an agreement is reached on the structured approach document.
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