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Iran: IAEA Chief Yukiya Amano holds talks in Tehran

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano held talks in Tehran, to discuss Iran's nuclear program.

Yukiya amano tehran nuclear talksEnlarge
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukio Amano visited Iran and held high level talks in Tehran on May 21, 2012. (SAMUEL KUBANI/AFP/Getty Images)

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano held rare talks in Tehran on Monday with Iran’s head of nuclear energy, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, according to Reuters.

After the talks, Abbasi-Davani’s office issued a statement saying that issues were talked about “in a frank manner and proposals were made to remove ambiguities and to develop co-operation,” according to the BBC.

Before the meeting, Amano had voiced hope that the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency make some progress, saying, “I really think this is the right time to reach agreement. Nothing is certain but I stay positive and I go there with constructive spirit,” reported the BBC.

This is Amano’s first trip to Iran since taking office in 2009, and he was also scheduled to meet Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday, according to Reuters.

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According to CNN, Iran’s state news agency IRNA said that the talks would address a “new framework for cooperation to remove ambiguities and address IAEA questions.”

The IAEA said the talks would center around “issues of mutual interest with high Iranian officials,” according to CNN.

CNN noted that there is speculation that Iran may grant the IAEA inspectors access to nuclear sites, as sanctions imposed by the United States, UN and European Union have crippled its economy. Iran claims it is not building a nuclear weapon.

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The BBC reported that Amano’s visit comes ahead of a meeting between six world powers and Iran on Wednesday, to be held in Baghdad. The UK, US, China, France, Germany and Russia will take part in the talks.

In February, Iran refused an IAEA request to let inspectors visit a military site in Parchin, south of Tehran.

The New York Times noted that if IAEA inspectors are granted access, they would be able to find unambiguous clues as to whether Iran had tested a nuclear explosive. Robert Kelley, a former inspector, told The Times, "If there was ever any uranium, they’re going to find it."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120520/iran-iaea-chief-yukiya-amano-holds-talks-tehran