IAEA Head in Iran for Talks

A03341101.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, is in Tehran for two days of talks on Iran’s nuclear program.

His visit is expected to include a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday.

ElBaradei is hoping to clarify the scope of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.

ElBaradei was met at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport by Iranian nuclear officials including Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, and Iran’s envoy to the UN nuclear watchdog agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh.

As well as meeting President Ahmadinejad, he is expected to hold talks with top officials including Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

A spokeswoman said he was making the current visit with the hope of “resolving all remaining outstanding issues and enabling the agency to provide assurance about Iran’s past and present activities”.

Mr. ElBaradei will also be looking at how to monitor Iran’s future nuclear activities.

The US is currently pushing for a third round of UN sanctions against Iran over its refusal to stop enriching uranium, a process which can be, at low grades, only used to make fuel for nuclear power plants. Iran has merely accessed the technical know-how for low grade enrichment (3.5%-5%), while producing a nuclear bomb requires highly enriched uranium (above 90%).

Washington’s campaign for tougher sanctions lost steam when a report by 16 US intelligence bodies last month stressed the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities and program.

But US President George W Bush, who is currently visiting the region, still says that Iran is a threat to world security.

Tehran insists that its sole aim is to generate electricity that does not rely on a finite supply of fossil fuels.

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