Iran holds nuclear talks with UN, Russia in Tehran

April 28th, 2008 - 6:56 pm ICT by admin  

Tehran, April 28 (DPA) Iran Monday started talks with inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog as well as Valentin Sobolev, acting secretary of Russia’s National Security Council. A three-man delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), headed by chief inspector Olli Heinonen, arrived in Tehran Monday morning and was to hold talks with officials from the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization.

Sobolev, who arrived Sunday night, had already started talks with his Iranian counterpart Saeid Jalili, who is also Tehran’s chief nuclear negotiator.

Heinonen is reportedly to meet with the deputy of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Saeidi, and the country’s IAEA envoy, Ali-Asqar Soltanieh.

Foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini Sunday rejected press reports that Iran would discuss intelligence alleging Iran pursued nuclear weapons studies with Heinonen, saying that talks would only be within the framework of the IAEA and Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Heinonen was in Tehran last week, but Tehran insisted that the visit was just routine and rejected Western press reports that the talks were solely focused on the new allegations.

The IAEA inspectors reportedly want answers from Tehran regarding intelligence received from Western member states on alleged studies of uranium conversion, high-explosives testing and work on a missile re-entry vehicle, all of which have potential nuclear weapons applications.

Talks with Sobolev are mainly focused on the latest developments concerning the nuclear power plant at Bushehr in southern Iran. Moscow is cooperating with Tehran on building the light-water reactor.

The two sides are also expected to discuss last month’s halting of a cargo of Russian heat insulators destined for the Bushehr plant which has not yet been released.

Hosseini said Sunday that Iran was in constant contact with Azeri officials and the Iranian embassy in Baku to enable the urgent release of the cargo.

Sobolev told reporters after his meeting with Jalili that Moscow had already started diplomatic efforts to settle the cargo dispute with Azerbaijan at the earliest term.

Jalili said that he consulted with Sobolev over an Iranian package containing Tehran’s proposals for settling international disputes and would soon be forwarded to United Nations Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States as well as Germany.

“We have proposals on important global political, security and economic issues,” Jalili said, without giving further details.

He confirmed that the package also contains the dispute over Iran’s controversial nuclear programmes.

The Fars news agency termed the package “Iran’s peace package” and said the contents would soon be disclosed.

Observers doubt that the ambiguous package would meet the main demand by the international community from Iran which is suspending the uranium enrichment process.

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