Dubai: Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog will hold talks in Tehran on Tuesday, official media reported, their first since the country missed an August deadline for addressing questions about its suspected atomic bomb research.
Diplomats said last week that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was expected to make a new attempt soon to advance its long-running investigation into Iran’s nuclear programme.
Western officials say Iran must step up cooperation with the IAEA if it wants to reach a broader diplomatic deal with world powers that would end a decade-old nuclear dispute and gradually end crippling financial and other sanctions on the oil producer.
Iran’s official IRNA news agency said an IAEA delegation would start talks with Iranian officials “to discuss the remaining issues about Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme”. It gave no further details.
There was no immediate comment from the IAEA, a Vienna-based UN agency that for years has been trying to investigate Western allegations that Iran has worked on designing a nuclear warhead. Iran says its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.
Early last month, the IAEA said Iran had failed to answer questions by an agreed August 25 deadline about alleged research activities into explosives testing and neutron calculations, which could be applicable to any attempt to make nuclear bombs.
Iran has rejected the accusations as baseless, but has promised to work with the IAEA since last year when Hassan Rouhani, seen as a pragmatist, became president on a platform to end its international isolation.