IAEA Talks to Focus on Outstanding Issues

IAEA Talks to Focus on Outstanding IssuesIAEA Talks to Focus on Outstanding Issues

A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency headed by IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards Tero Varjoranta is due to visit Iran on Monday to hold a technical meeting with Iranian officials, IRNA reported on Saturday.  

The focus of the meeting will be the two outstanding issues that the UN nuclear agency says Iran has failed to address adequately as part of the transparency measures the country undertook to implement under a cooperation agreement it signed with the IAEA in November 2013. The two remaining issues include alleged high explosives tests and studies that could be relevant for any effort to build nuclear bombs. Iran denies its nuclear program may have any military objectives, saying the work is meant only for peaceful purposes.   

Iranian officials say they have already addressed the issues by offering "managed access" to the alleged site of the tests in Marivan region in western Iran, and providing explanation on the studies.

The IAEA has requested Iran to propose more transparency steps; however, Tehran says it is ready to come up with new practical measures if the agency considers the previous cases closed.   

"Step-by-sep cooperation between Iran and the IAEA is based on the assumption that the next stage can be started only after various issues relating to the current stage have been fully addressed," the spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said on Saturday, adding, "Thus, until the two remaining issues are resolved, we will not consider any next step."  

Elsewhere, in an interview with state television, AEOI Director Ali Akbar Salehi referred to the two recent rounds of technical talks in Geneva and Montreux between him and US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, noting, "The two meetings were very useful, and we took positive steps."

Pointing to the major sticking points in the talks between Iran and the major powers on a final deal to resolve the 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, Salehi said the negotiating parties have agreed that the Arak facility will remain a heavy water reactor after undergoing some modifications, adding the future of the Fordo uranium enrichment facility will be the main topic for technical discussions between Iran and the US scheduled to resume on March 15.