Iran seeks ‘practical solution’ to rift with UN inspectors

Top Stories

Iran seeks ‘practical solution’ to rift with UN inspectors

Iranian envoy continues meeting with IAEA experts; minister pledges new approach in dealings.

By (Reuters)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 29 Oct 2013, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:04 PM

Iran’s new proposal to UN inspectors is practical and meant to “solve the issue”, an Iranian envoy said before a second day of talks on Tuesday, a hint Tehran may cooperate more with an inquiry into suspected nuclear arms research in the country.

People stand on the rocks as large waves break against barriers at the harbour in Porthcawl, South Wales.- AFP

Iran's Ambassador to theIAEA, Reza Najafi, arrives for talks with IAEA Deputy Director-General and Head of the Department of Safeguards Tero Tapio Varjoranta at the International Centre in Vienna on Tuesday. -AP

A series of meetings since early 2012 have yielded no deal that would give the International Atomic Energy Agency access to sites, files and officials relevant to its investigation. But the election in June of a moderate Iranian president has opened doors for good-faith negotiations to end the deadlock.

Reza Najafi, Iran’s new ambassador to the IAEA, made the comment late on Monday to an Iranian news agency after he and other Iranian officials met with senior IAEA experts at the agency’s Vienna headquarters.

Tehran denies having any nuclear weapons ambitions, saying it is enriching uranium and trying to master nuclear technology only for electricity generation and medical treatments.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said in Vienna on Monday that he had put forward proposals to IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano and pledged a “new approach” in dealings with the UN agency. But he gave no details.

“Our proposal is practical and intended to solve the issue between Iran and the agency,” Najafi told the ISNA news agency, adding that Iranian and IAEA experts had “entered into substantive discussions in these negotiations”.

Najafi made clear he believed the time had come to find new ways to bridge differences between Iran and the IAEA on how the UN agency’s investigation should be carried out.

“The approach of the past cannot be implemented and there must be changes to it,” Najafi said.

Expectations for this week’s Vienna talks, the first since pragmatic President Hasan Rohani took office, were relatively high and diplomats believed Iran might soon offer concessions, perhaps by permitting UN inspectors to visit its Parchin military base southeast of Tehran - long an IAEA priority.

The IAEA-Iran discussions resumed around 10am (0900 GMT) on Tuesday and were expected to end around lunchtime, officials from both sides said.

Taking advantage of the diplomatic opening enabled by Rohani, Iran and six world powers have revived separate negotiations towards a broader political settlement of the nuclear dispute to head off any risk of a new Middle East war.

They are scheduled to hold a second meeting on November 7-8.

An end to Iran’s higher-grade enrichment of uranium is a central demand of the powers. Refining uranium to 20 per cent is sensitive as it is a relatively short technical step to raise that to the 90 per cent needed for a nuclear bomb.

More news from