( dpa ) - Iran on Friday termed talks with Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed ElBaradei positive and declared the country's readiness to fully cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog."We have entered a new phase of cooperation with the IAEA in which grounds would be prepared for fully settling all outstanding issues regarding our nuclear programme," the head of Iran's atomic energy organization Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh told reporters after his meeting with the IAEA chief.
Aqazadeh, who is also vice-president, expressed hope that the next ElBaradei's next report to the IAEA board of governors in March would lead to normalisation of the Iranian nuclear dossier which would also benefit the West.
ElBaradei termed the talks with Aqazadeh positive and expressed hope that the dispute over Iran's nuclear programmes would be settled by March.
In reference to his talks Saturday with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and chief nuclear negotiator Saeid Jalili, the IAEA chief said the settlement of the Iranian nuclear dispute would serve the interests of the entire Middle East.
Earlier Friday an Iranian nuclear official said the visit by ElBaradei to Iran would be the start of a "new phase" of cooperation between the UN nuclear watchdog and Tehran.
Iran's Atomic Energy Organization deputy Mohammad Saeidi told IRNA news agency that the new phase would include ending the political aspects of the nuclear dispute, normalization of the nuclear dossier and its return from the United Nations Security Council to the IAEA in Vienna.
ElBaradei arrived in Tehran on Thursday night and is due to meet Saturday with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to discuss the political aspects of the nuclear dispute.
The aim of the visit is to clarify all outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear projects, but observers in Tehran say that Iran might declare its readiness to resume implementation of the IAEA Additional Protocol - allowing IAEA snap inspections - if no third UN resolution was issued against the Islamic state and the dossier returned to the IAEA.