Talks with Iran to resume on May 13: IAEA
TEHRAN THE International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on Saturday that it will resume talks with Iran on Tehran’s nuclear programme in mid-May.
Iran’s envoy to the UN watchdog, Ali Asghar Soltanieh told the official news agency IRNA on Friday that a new round of talks would be held in Vienna on May 13 and 14.
But IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor told AFP in an email Saturday that the talks would be a day later on May 14 and 15.
“The purpose is to continue the negotiations started early this year,” Tudor said.
The watchdog said in late February that it “continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.” Its concerns reflect suspicions by the United States and its European allies that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapons capability under the cover of its civilian atomic programme.
But Soltanieh said the resumption of talks “once again proves Iran’s determination to cooperate with the agency, confirms that claims against Iran are baseless, and shows that all of the Islamic republic’s nuclear activities are peaceful.” Separate talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group, comprising the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany, were revived this month in Istanbul and are to go to an important new round in Baghdad on May 23.
The IAEA-Iran discussions are expected to explore technical issues related to expanding inspections of Tehran’s nuclear activities.
Soltanieh said they would be aimed at “finding a framework and modality to respond to the (IAEA’s) questions.” The last such discussions, in early February, ended in deadlock when an IAEA team visiting Tehran said it had been repeatedly refused permission to inspect the Parchin military site near Tehran.
The UN agency said it had information suggesting experiments on nuclear warhead design had been carried out there