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Tehran says no Iran-IAEA meeting in August

11 July 2013 10:50 (UTC+04:00)
Tehran says no Iran-IAEA meeting in August

Director of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoun Abbasi dismissed the news reports saying that Iran and the UN nuclear agency may hold a meeting in August, Tehran Times reported.

"We have not received any new information in this regard," he told reporters after a cabinet meeting on July 9, adding that Iran itself will make an announcement in this relation if there is a new development.

Reuters reported on July 8 that Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency might hold a new round of nuclear talks in August.

According to the report, a diplomat in Vienna, where the IAEA is based, said he believed the aim was for an IAEA-Iran meeting in mid-August but that no decision had yet been taken.

"I think that no meeting in August would be a bad sign," another Western envoy said.

The IAEA-Iran discussions are separate from, but still closely associated with, broader negotiations between Tehran and six world powers aimed at an overall political solution to the dispute that would head off the risk of a new Middle East war.

The IAEA, in an e-mailed response to a question, said it had no news to report about any future discussions with Iran. They last met in May in Vienna, without achieving a breakthrough.

International hopes for a resolution of the nuclear dispute were boosted by the election of Rouhani because he has promised a more conciliatory approach to foreign relations than incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But Western officials stress that it is Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who decides nuclear policy and it remains to be seen whether he will allow any shift in course.

Iran says it is enriching uranium only to fuel nuclear power stations, and for medical purposes. But refined uranium also provides the fissile material for nuclear bombs if processed further, which the West fears may be Tehran's ultimate goal.

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