IAEA Experts to Arrive in Tehran Tomorrow

A01853729.jpgA team of the International Atomic Energy Agency experts will pay a visit to Tehran on Monday to attend talks with the Islamic Republic officials over Iran’s nuclear issue. The team to be headed by the IAEA director for regional and safeguard affairs is not due to inspect Iran’s nuclear sites.

The two sides are to discuss technical issues and instructions for the manner and order of IAEA visits to Natanz enrichment facility.

Last Monday IAEA inspectors paid a visit to the heavy water reactor under construction in Iran’s central city of Arak.

The three-member team of inspectors stayed in Iran for one week to pay routine visits to other nuclear centers and facilities, but they did not inspect Arak research reactor a second time.

The IAEA team was formed of the same experts who carry out routine inspections of different Iranian nuclear sites and facilities.

The visit to Arak nuclear reactor was arranged as a result of a recent agreement between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog. The two sides have recently shown deep enthusiasm for resolving the remaining issues in relation to Tehran’s nuclear programs and activities and they have so far attended two rounds of talks which both have described as “constructive”.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini also said earlier today that the third round of Iran-IAEA talks would be held in Tehran on August 20.

The two rounds of talks between Iran and the IAEA followed a groundbreaking agreement gained during an earlier meeting between Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator and Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Larijani and IAEA Director General Mohammad ElBaradei in Vienna last month.

In the first round of talks Iran’s SNSC Undersecretary Javad Vaeedi and IAEA deputy Director General Ollie Heinonen agreed about the start of visits by UN experts to the heavy water reactor in Arak.

They also agreed to finalize the approach and method for the implementation of safeguards in Natanz nuclear enrichment facility by early August.

The new round of Iran-IAEA talks aims to specify a proper modality for resolving the remaining issues with regard to Iran’s nuclear programs and clarifying certain points and executive issues in relation to the implementation of safeguards at Natanz facility.

In talks with Tehran, the IAEA deputy director general for safeguards, Ollie Heinonen has been accompanied by IAEA director for foreign relations and policy making, IAEA regional director, and IAEA’s legal advisor.

Inclusion of technical, legal and political officials in the IAEA delegation reveals that the two sides strive to solve their problems from different aspects.

While West has always sought to politicize Iran’s nuclear issue, Tehran insists that questions about its nuclear programs and activities are technical and legal in nature and should, thus, be verified by the IAEA and not by the UN Security Council.

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