The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano began Monday in Tehran "frank" talks with Iranian authorities in an effort to garner more cooperation on the nuclear issue ahead of crucial negotiations between the Iran and the 5+1 powers, which include the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany.
Amano, who is making his first visit to Tehran since his appointment to head the UN agency in late 2009, spoke of the difficult relations between the IAEA and Iran with the head of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program Fereydoon Abbasi Davani.
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"The existing issues were discussed openly and proposals were made to clarify ambiguities and develop cooperation," a brief account of the meeting published on the official website of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) stated, giving no further details.
The Director General of the IAEA was to meet in the afternoon with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.
'Good progress.' Amano in Tehran (Photo: AP)
While Tehran claims its activities are purely peaceful, the IAEA, which monitors most of Iran's nuclear facilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has been concerned for years about a possible military dimension Iran's nuclear program.
Amano and Jalili (Photo: AP)
Amano stressed that "good progress" had been recorded during two days of talks with Iran in Vienna last week after months of deadlock, and felt that it was "a good time to have a direct dialogue with Iranian officials."
Iran has so far refused to let IAEA inspectors access any sites that are not listed among the nuclear facilities subject to review by the agency.
The major powers on Saturday called on Iran to "seize the opportunity" during talks in Baghdad by taking "concrete steps" to "restore international confidence in the fact that (its) nuclear program is entirely peaceful."
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