Iran envoy: Progress made in latest talks with IAEA
Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh says progress was made in the latest round of talks between Tehran and the Agency over the Iranian nuclear energy program, Press TV reported.
"All together there were eight members of the delegation. We held, in a very constructive friendly environment, talks intensively about all aspects of this [nuclear] matter. I have to say that, we have gone forward," Soltanieh told Press TV.
He added that the IAEA and Iran had reached an agreement on the date and venue for next round of talks between the two sides.
The latest round of talks between Iran and the IAEA wrapped up in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Thursday.
"In fact, we proposed they could stay one more day because two of the members of the delegation had other obligations. Therefore, they suggested to have another meeting, in fact, [the] next meeting on February 12," Soltanieh noted.
Iran and the IAEA seek to finalize a structured framework that could outline the cooperation between the two sides. The IAEA wants to revisit Parchin, a military site southeast of Tehran, to probe Western and Israeli allegations that the site is linked to Iran's nuclear energy program.
Iran has rejected the allegation of nuclear activities being carried out at Parchin with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi pointing out that it is technically impossible to clean up places where nuclear work has been done.
In addition, Iran has allowed the IAEA to inspect the site twice in the past. Tehran says any new Agency inspection must be governed by an agreement that lays out the scope of such an inspection.
Soltanieh rejected claims by certain Western media outlets that the Agency's representatives had been seeking a breakthrough in the two-day meeting.
"I reject this assessment...because as I said, we had two days of intensive talks and we were able to in fact bridge the gap to some extent, but whether we were able to finally sign it; no, which is very natural because we will do it only when both sides come to the conclusion that major concerns are incorporated."
Nackaerts, in brief arrival comments Friday said that "differences remain," and no deal was reached.
Agency officials say they are willing to continue negotiations but some privately have described the delays as a tactic to further stall the investigations.