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Iran Holds 'Constructive' Meeting With Nuclear Watchdog

Source: VOA

Iranian officials held talks Friday with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), their first meeting with the U.N. body since Hassan Rouhani was elected Iran's president in June. IAEA chief negotiator Herman Nackaerts called the talks in Vienna "very constructive" and said the two sides would meet again next month.

Iran's new envoy to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, said beforehand not to expect much from the discussions.

The focus of the meeting was to discuss suspicions that Iran has been taking steps to build a nuclear weapon. The IAEA wants to resume an investigation into Iran's alleged atomic bomb research.

Earlier this week, Mr. Rouhani said at the U.N. General Assembly Iran has a right to pursue a nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

Friday's meeting came a day after the U.S. and Iran held their highest-level direct talks in more than 30 years.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met for 30 minutes with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, on the sidelines of a meeting in New York aimed at resolving the standoff involving Iran's nuclear program.

Their meeting was the highest-level official interaction between U.S. and Iranian officials since the Islamic revolution of 1979, when American hostages were seized and diplomatic ties came to a standstill.

Kerry said he was pleased to see Zarif come to New York to meet with major world powers on its nuclear ambitions at the U.N. General Assembly. He said Zarif put "possibilities" on the table but later later told CBS television the U.S. will not lift sanctions until Iran has a verifiable and transparent nuclear inspection process in place.

Zarif said officials at the talks agreed to speed up work on a deal and hopefully finalize it within a year.

Iran has long insisted its nuclear program is peaceful. The U.S. and some of its allies disagree, and have helped impose several rounds of sanctions that have battered Iran's economy

... Payvand News - 09/27/13 ... --

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