U.N. official to visit Iran again for nuclear talks

TEHERAN - The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s top investigator will arrive in Tehran next week to hold more talks over Western allegations the country had studied nuclear bomb designing, a news agency reported on Friday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Fri 25 Apr 2008, 2:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:43 AM

Following Olli Heinonen’s visit to Iran earlier this week, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday Tehran had agreed on steps to clarify intelligence alleging it studied how to design nuclear bombs.

Iran had earlier dismissed the intelligence as baseless.

“Heinonen on Monday will travel to Iran for the continuation of talks which the two sides held earlier this week,” the students news agency ISNA quoted an unnamed official as saying.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. body, wants to clear suspicions about Iran’s nuclear programme.

The West accuses Tehran of covertly trying to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies it, saying its nuclear ambitions are peaceful and only for electricity generation.

U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Washington last week pledged a united effort to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, possibly by expanding sanctions against Tehran.

The Islamic state has been hit by three rounds of U.N. sanctions since 2006 for defying the U.N. demand to halt sensitive nuclear work.

During a power-point presentation in February, Heinonen caused a diplomatic stir by indicating links in Iran between projects to process uranium, test explosives and modify a missile cone in a way suitable for a nuclear warhead.

World powers are considering enhancing a package of trade and other incentives for Iran if it stops enriching uranium, which can be used as nuclear fuel or provide material for bombs.

Iran has rejected halting its nuclear drive and says it is working on its own proposals to help defuse the row.

Iran on Tuesday said the two days of talks with Heinonen, the IAEA’s safeguards chief and top investigator, were ”positive”.

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