Iran, IAEA start talks on further cooperation
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 8
By Temkin Jafarov, Saeed Isayev - Trend
Ealier today, Iran and IAEA officials have started negotiations on further cooperation in Tehran, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on Feb. 8.
"The sides also discussed other issues of co-operation," Kamalvandi said.
IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of Department of Safeguards Tero Tapio Varjoranta arrived in Tehran on Feb. 7 afternoon along with two other officials from the agency.
Iran was presented at the negotiations by the country's ambassador to IAEA, Reza Najafi.
Iran and the IAEA signed a joint statement in November 2013 to outline a roadmap on bilateral cooperation on certain outstanding issues.
Under the deal, Iran agreed, on a voluntary basis, to allow IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water plant and the Gachin uranium mine.
The UN nuclear agency's inspectors visited the Arak heavy water plant on December 8, 2013, as the first step to be implemented under the Iran-IAEA agreement. The IAEA inspectors also made a five-hour visit to the Gachin uranium mine in southern Iran in late January.
The agency's safeguards agreement does not require Tehran to authorize IAEA inspections of those sites. The voluntary move is a goodwill gesture on the part of Iran to clear up ambiguities over the peaceful nature of its nuclear energy program.
Iran and the six major world powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, the UK, and Germany - signed a nuclear deal in Geneva, Switzerland, last November to pave the way for the full resolution of the West's decade-old standoff over Tehran's nuclear energy program.
The two sides started to implement the agreement on January 20 and aim to continue negotiations for a final comprehensive deal.