Publishe Date: 9:43 PM - 10/29/2013 | Print

Iran Hopes New Approach to IAEA Talks Expedites Crisis Settlement

Politics - The Iranian Foreign Ministry said the country is hopeful that its new approach to the talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency would help resolve problems and accelerate cooperation between the two sides.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham told reporters here in Tehran on Tuesday that the new government needed to balance its approaches towards negotiations with the six world powers and its talks with the IAEA "and that's why (Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister) Mr. Araqchi had a trip to Vienna and talked with (IAEA Chief Yukiya) Amano".

"The Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that this new approach will reinvigorate and accelerate the Iran-IAEA cooperation and bring about prospects for increasing cooperation and positive interaction between Iran and the Agency by answering questions and ambiguities," she added.

The spokeswoman further noted Araqchi's talks with Amano, which pertained to the agenda and framework of the Iran-IAEA talks which started on Monday and will end today, and said, "The two sides have described the talks as useful and constructive, and we hope to achieve good results and witness the early signs of this new interaction at the end of today's talks based the proposals that were presented (during Araqchi's meeting with Amano) on how to have continuous talks and remove ambiguities."

Yet, Afkham underlined that Iran has always had sincere cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog agency, but has now decided to change its approach.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has always laid emphasis on cooperation with the Agency and made its utmost efforts for transparency, accountability and removal of ambiguities," she said.

Iran and the IAEA started their second day of experts talks in the Austrian capital less than an hour ago.

The first day of the 12th round of technical talks between Iran and the IAEA was held on Monday, and the second day of the negotiations kicked off this morning (Vienna time).

The first day of talks was presided jointly by Iran's Residing Representative at the UN nuclear watchdog Reza Najafi and IAEA Deputy Head Thro Varioranteh at the UN offices in Vienna.

Najafi had previously announced that the two sides are to focus on detailed and conceptual discussions in this new round of their discussions.

A few hours before the start of the talks on Monday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Seyed Abbas Araqchi met with Director-General of the IAEA Yukiya Amano in Austria.

During the meeting, the Iranian diplomat elaborated on Tehran's new approach in the talks with the UN body.

Araqchi, who is also a member of the Iranian team of negotiators in the nuclear talks with the six world powers as well, arrived in the Austrian capital at midday on Monday.

The two sides did not reveal much of the contents of their discussions, but Amano has reportedly told Araqchi that "it is very important for all of us that we can show concrete progress".

In response, Araqchi said, "We think this is the time to take a new approach to resolving (questions) between Iran and the IAEA and look to the future for further cooperation in order to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."

"It is peaceful and it will remain peaceful for ever," Araqchi said.

Late in September, Iran and the IAEA held talks in Vienna and discussed issues pertaining to Tehran's nuclear program. They resumed their fresh talks in the Austrian capital ten hours after the historic ministerial level nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the six world powers in New York.

Najafi headed the Iranian delegation in talks with a group of the agency's experts. Najafi replaced Iran's former ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asqar Soltaniyeh shortly after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani came to power.

Prior to that, Iran and the IAEA met in Vienna on May 15. The meeting, which was the 10th of its kind, was presided by Soltaniyeh and Nackaerts.

Iran appointed Najafi as its new envoy to the IAEA late in August.

Iran says its nuclear program is a peaceful drive to produce electricity so that the world's fourth-largest crude exporter can sell more of its oil and gas abroad. Tehran also stresses that the country is pursuing a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

The US and its western allies allege that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program while they have never presented corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations against the Islamic Republic.

Iran is under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment, saying the demand is politically tainted and illogical.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, saying that renouncing its rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would encourage the world powers to put further pressure on the country and would not lead to a change in the West's hardline stance on Tehran.

Iran has also insisted that it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the Southwestern town of Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the Southern port city of Bushehr.

Tehran has repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of the IAEA's questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.

Analysts believe that the US is at loggerheads with Iran due mainly to the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran's nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for the other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.


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