Source: Tehran Times
Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resumed talks on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program in Tehran on Saturday. Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, described the first day of talks as "good", "progressive", and "constructive".
Reza Najafi, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA (left), represents the Islamic Republic in the discussions, while the team from the UN nuclear agency is led by deputy IAEA director general Tero Varjoranta (right).
"The sides held five hours of talks today (Saturday) and agreed to continue their intensive talks tomorrow (Sunday)," Kamalvandi told IRNA.
Prior to the resumption of talks, Kamalvandi said the talks are about the measures taken based on a joint statement that Iran and the UN nuclear agency signed on further cooperation on the country's nuclear activities on November 11, 2013.
"Other issues will also be discussed during the talks," he added.
Reza Najafi, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, represents the Islamic Republic in the discussions, while the team from the UN nuclear agency is led by deputy IAEA director general Tero Varjoranta.
Under the agreement, the IAEA has already visited a heavy water production plant and a uranium mine in Iran.
Saturday's meeting comes 10 days before Tehran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), building on an interim deal that came into force last month, start talks to finalize a comprehensive nuclear deal.
The Iran-IAEA discussions are separate from, but closely linked to, negotiations between Tehran and major powers over the country's nuclear issue.
Kamalvandi had said on Friday that Iran was ready to clear up all the possible ambiguities about its nuclear program.
"As we have already said, we are ready to answer all the questions about our peaceful nuclear activities," the Iranian nuclear official said.
Reuters reported on Thursday that diplomats are cautiously optimistic that the team of senior IAEA inspectors will return from the meeting in Tehran able to show at least some progress.
They said the IAEA may tread carefully to avoid upsetting the delicate building of rapport at a time when Iran and six big powers are due to start separate, high-stakes talks on a broader settlement of the decade-old nuclear dispute.
The UN agency may therefore try to begin with getting Iran to clarify questions about some of the less sensitive aspects of the IAEA's inquiry into what it calls the "possible military dimensions" to Tehran's nuclear program.
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