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UN Nuclear Negotiators Plan New Talks in Tehran

  • VOA News

Iran's Ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, left, and IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards, Tero Tapio Varjoranta, International Center, Vienna, Oct. 29, 2013.

Iran's Ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, left, and IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards, Tero Tapio Varjoranta, International Center, Vienna, Oct. 29, 2013.

The United Nations' nuclear agency says it is pleased with Iran's "new approach" to talks over Tehran's controversial nuclear program, and both sides plan to meet again next month in Iran.

The comments came after a second day of meetings Tuesday between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

IAEA Deputy Director General Tero Varjoranta called Iran's presentation "constructive."

"Iran presented new proposals on practical measures as a constructive contribution to strengthen cooperation and dialogue with a view to future resolution of all outstanding issues," he said.

Reza Najafi, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, also expressed hope progress is within reach.

"I believe with the submission of this new proposal by Iran, we have been able to open a new chapter of cooperation," said Najafi. "The ultimate goal will be the resolution of all remaining issues."

The two sides will meet again on November 11 in Tehran.

The IAEA has been trying to investigate Western allegations that Iran secretly worked on developing nuclear weapons. Iran maintains its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes and that it is not pursuing nuclear weapons.

Iran is meeting with both the IAEA and world powers over how to resolve questions over its nuclear ambitions.

Since the election of moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani as Iran's president this past June, diplomats have been hopeful that progress can be made on both fronts.

Iranian negotiators are preparing for additional talks with experts from the so-called P5+1, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, later this week. Those talks are expected to lay the groundwork for higher level talks early next month in Geneva.

The IAEA plays a pivotal role on technical aspects of nuclear inspections.

The U.N. Security Council has hit Iran with several rounds of sanctions over its nuclear program, severely hurting Iran's economy.

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