Iran says IAEA to set date for nuclear talks soon

August 9, 2010 11:58 am 

TEHRAN, Aug. 9 — Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Sunday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief will soon set the date for the Vienna Group-Iran nuclear talks.

"IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano is preparing a letter to set a date for talks with the Vienna Group," Mottaki said, adding that the Islamic Republic is completely ready to participate in negotiations that are based on the Tehran nuclear fuel swap declaration, the official news agency IRNA reported.

Iran, Turkey and Brazil signed an agreement on May 17, dubbed Tehran declaration, in which Iran committed itself to giving 1,200 kg of its 3.5 percent enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 20 percent enriched uranium to be used as fuel in the research reactor in Tehran.

The Vienna Group, including the United States, Russia, France and the IAEA, put forth some questions about the declaration, to which Iran have officially responded in late July.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on July 26 that Iran is ready to start the nuclear talks "without delay." European Union (EU) foreign ministers on July 26 approved tougher sanctions on Iran over Tehran's nuclear program, including restrictions on banking and insurance, transport and investment in new oil and gas fields or technical assistance to oil and gas development.

On July 1, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a new Iran sanction bill into law, which was described by him as "striking at the heart" of Iranian government's nuclear ability.

UN Security Council adopted in June a resolution on the Iranian nuclear issue, prohibiting Iran from investing abroad in nuclear and enrichment operations, imposing new restrictions on Iran's import of conventional arms and allowing the Iranian ships in the international waters to be checked.

Despite Western countries' accusation, Iran has reiterated that its nuclear program is aimed at civilian use. (PNA/Xinhua)



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