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Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:52PM
Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh

Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have reached a basic agreement to work out a structured framework to resolve the outstanding issues regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program. The agreement was reached on Wednesday after Iranian officials and a technical delegation from the United Nations nuclear agency wrapped up their latest round of talks on the country's nuclear energy program in Tehran. After the talks, Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh, who heads the Iranian negotiating team, said that the remaining differences would be discussed in the next meeting between the two sides. The latest talks were held at the headquarters of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the IAEA’s chief inspector Herman Nackaerts headed the agency’s negotiating team. During the previous round of talks held in Tehran on January 17-18, both sides agreed to continue negotiations until a final resolution is reached. The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, an allegation Iran strongly rejects. Tehran maintains that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Iran also cites reports by IAEA inspectors who have conducted numerous inspections of the country's nuclear facilities but invariably failed to find any evidence showing any diversion in the Iranian nuclear energy program toward military objectives. MRS/MHB
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