IAEA starts informal talks in Iran

TEHRAN (ISNA)- The UN nuclear watchdog said its chief inspector had held “informal” talks in Tehran, ahead of a mid-May deadline for Iran to answer questions on its nuclear program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gave no details about the previously unannounced visit of IAEA Deputy Director General Tero Varjoranta to the Iranian capital.

He went to Tehran “at the end of last week for informal talks as part of regular contacts between the agency and Iran,” IAEA spokesman Serge Gas said in an email.

Gas said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano would “provide an update on developments” in Iran to the U.N. agency’s 35-nation board of governors in a few weeks’ time, an apparent reference to a quarterly report due in May.

Under an agreement reached between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog in November 2013, the IAEA inspectors visited the Arak heavy water production plant on December 8, 2013.

The IAEA inquiry is separate from but complementary to higher-level talks between Iran and the six nations, which is aimed at reaching a final agreement to fully resolve the West’s decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

The framework agreement between Tehran and the Sextet of world powers was signed on 11 November 2013, in what was a breakthrough following years of on-and-off negotiations that aimed at allaying international fears over Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran finally agreed to limit its unclear enrichment to 5 percent in exchange for some easing of sanctions. The deal took effect on January 20.



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