Talks between Iran and the IAEA are making headway and if anyone intends to express his viewpoints in this regard, he should speak on behalf of himself, not as the guardian or the spokesperson of the agency.” Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar SalehiTehran has condemned meddlesome remarks by the US about the latest round of talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the country’s nuclear energy program. “Talks between Iran and the IAEA are making headway and if anyone intends to express his viewpoints in this regard, he should speak on behalf of himself, not as the guardian or the spokesperson of the agency,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday.
Salehi’s remarks come more than a week after US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Washington was disappointed that Iran “once again missed an opportunity” to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.The Iranian foreign minister said the talks with the UN agency focus on “legal and complicated issues” that are progressing. On January 17, Iran and the UN nuclear agency wrapped up two days of talks in Tehran and agreed to hold a new round of talks in the Iranian capital on February 12. However, the IAEA announced on January 21 that the next round of the talks with Iran would be held in Tehran on “February 13 rather than February 12." Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh and the agency’s deputy director general Herman Nackaerts led the talks, which focused on finding a structured framework for mutual cooperation. The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran argues that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. YH/MA/HJL