Iran terms talks with ElBaradei positive
( dpa ) - Iran on Friday termed talks with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Mohamed ElBaradei as 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 ElBaradei's next report to the IAEA board of governors in March would lead to normalization 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.
He called on Iran to intensify and accelerate its cooperation with the IAEA before the March report and provide transparency and assurances about its current nuclear projects in order to settle the dispute with the United Nations Security Council veto powers plus Germany.
ISNA news agency quoted Aqazadeh as saying that ElBaradei would also meet Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to exchange thoughts on "very important issues" which he hoped would settle the nuclear dispute.
He did not disclose further details about the meeting with Khamenei , who constitutionally has the final say on all political affairs, especially the nuclear issue.
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.