Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Iran hopes for 'successful' nuclear talks

30 April 2012, 14:28

Vienna - An Iranian envoy voiced hope on Monday that talks with the UN nuclear watchdog in mid-May would help resolve "outstanding issues", but he again ruled out any halt to Tehran's controversial uranium enrichment programme.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Saturday it would resume discussions with Iran on 14-15 May - more than two months after the last meeting over concerns about Tehran's atomic activities ended in failure.

"We hope that this will be a very constructive and successful meeting," Iran's ambassador to the Vienna-based IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said.

"The main purpose is to negotiate on a modality and framework to resolve outstanding issues and remove ambiguities," he added, echoing language he and other Iranian officials have used before previous meetings that yielded no notable progress.

He suggested that only after such a "framework" for future co-operation had been agreed could Iran consider an IAEA request for access to a military site where the UN agency believes nuclear-related weapons research may have taken place.

"Every action will be implemented based on this framework, afterward," Soltanieh said when asked whether the IAEA could visit Parchin southeast of the capital Tehran.

Allegations dismissed

Western diplomats have said Tehran still appeared to be stonewalling over the body's most pressing demand to let its inspectors visit the site.

The IAEA last November issued a report detailing alleged Iranian research and development activities that were relevant to manufacturing nuclear weapons, lending independent weight to Western suspicions based on intelligence soundings.

The IAEA wants Iran to address the questions raised in the report. Iran has dismissed Western allegations as fabricated.

Iran has also restarted negotiations with six world powers over the broader dimensions of its nuclear programme and the sides have agreed to meet again in Baghdad on 23 May.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said last week that he was optimistic that the talks with United States, Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain would make progress.

Washington and its allies believe Tehran is working on developing nuclear bombs. Tehran insists its activities have only civilian energy purposes and has refused to stop enriching uranium, despite a slew of sanctions.

Negotiated solution

"We [will] never stop enrichment activities in Iran," Soltanieh said, describing it as an inalienable right.

He declined to comment however on Western demands that Iran halt the higher-grade enrichment, to a fissile concentration of 20%, it began in 2010 and has since sharply expanded, shortening the time needed for any nuclear weapons breakout.

The UN Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment activity but Western diplomats have indicated the immediate priority is to get it to halt the higher-grade work.

Many analysts say it will only be possible to find a negotiated solution to the long-running row if both sides compromise: Iran would be allowed to continue some lower-level enrichment if it accepts more intrusive UN inspections.

"There is a growing recognition that zero enrichment is not a feasible solution," said Mark Fitzpatrick, a director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President renews calls for nation...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on Kenyans to instead focus on unity, cohesion and prosperity as the country approaches the campaigns period. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What causes cellulite?

Cellulite usually affects the thighs, buttocks, waist and upper arms.  Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
IEBC selection panel settles on B...

The panel appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to recruit new IEBC commissioners has picked Bernadette Musundi as its chairperson. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Uhuru Kenyatta's bag of goodies t...

He promised to go back with more goodies next week. Read more...

Submitted by
Solomon Opala
Are women after money only

Many feel that it takes only a fat wallet to please a woman. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo says he will defeat UhuRu...

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has expressed confidence that he will send the Jubilee government home in the upcoming Presidential election. Read more...