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Ali Akbar Salehi
Photo: Reuters
Yukiya Amano
Photo: AFP
Iranian FM: Islamic Republic fulfilling nuclear 'duties'
Ali Akbar Salehi says Iran is cooperating with UN atomic watchdog, wants to renew nuclear talks

Iran is fulfilling all its "duties" towards the United Nations atomic watchdog and is open to more nuclear talks with major powers, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday.

 

Salehi spoke a day before he was due to meet with UN nuclear agency chief Yukiya Amano, who has repeatedly urged Iran to step up cooperation with the Vienna-based agency and help address international concerns about Tehran's nuclear work.

 

 

Western powers suspect Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Tehran rejects the charge, saying its atomic program is aimed at generating electricity.

 

Salehi's meeting with Amano coincides with increasingly strained ties between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is concerned about allegations Iran may be working to develop a nuclear-armed missile.

 

Tehran has 'best ties with IAEA'

Salehi made clear his view that Iran was providing sufficient cooperation, saying Tehran had "the best relations with the IAEA, we have a lot of inspections." His comments in Ljubljana were translated from Farsi into Slovenian.

 

"There were more inspections in Iranian nuclear buildings than anywhere else, we are following all our duties we have in regards to that, we are following the rules of the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)," Salehi told a news conference.

 

Salehi added without elaborating that "we are in favor of nuclear talks and are interested to continue the dialogue."

 

World powers failed to make any progress in two rounds of talks with Iran half a year ago and no new meetings have been announced, leaving the diplomatic track apparently deadlocked.

 

Amano, who has taken a blunter approach towards Iran than his predecessor, Mohamed ElBaradei, said last week that further cooperation was needed from Iran to "restore the confidence of the international community."

 

Iran has accused Amano of taking orders from Washington.

 

Iran's refusal to halt enrichment has led to four rounds of UN sanctions on the major oil producer, as well tighter US and European Union restrictions.

 

 

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