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Iran, UN Watchdog Appear Deadlocked on Nuclear Dispute

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano, right, from Japan, welcomes Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, prior to their talks at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, July 12, 2011

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency appear to remain deadlocked in a dispute over the Iranian nuclear program following talks between Iran's foreign minister and the agency's chief in Vienna.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi described Tuesday's meeting with IAEA chief Yukio Amano as "very positive" and said both sides agreed to have their experts work on a "new mechanism" for cooperation.

But, the IAEA said Amano reiterated its position on issues where it believes Iran is "not meeting its obligations."

The agency has accused Iran of not cooperating with U.N. experts investigating Western intelligence reports of a secret Iranian effort to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear work is intended for the promotion of peaceful civilian energy.

Salehi said Iran wants to cooperate more closely with the IAEA but expects the agency to declare an end to its four-year-old investigation of the Western allegations about the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran says it has answered all questions about those allegations as part of a 2007 IAEA work plan. But, the agency said Tuesday Amano "indicated that he is not in a position at this stage to consider the work plan completed."

The United States, European Union and the United Nations all have imposed sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend its enrichment of uranium, a process that can be used for civilian and military purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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