Iran reports ’very good’ nuclear talks, UN more muted

Iran reports ’very good’ nuclear talks, UN more muted
# 07 February 2010 01:11 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. Iran’s foreign minister said he held "very good" talks Saturday on a possible breakthrough deal on nuclear fuel but the head of the UN atomic watchdog said there were no fresh proposals from Tehran, APA reports citing AFP.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, said that Manouchehr Mottaki had made "no new proposals" to him in the talks, held on the sidelines of a major security conference in Munich, Germany.

Mottaki was tight-lipped on what exactly was discussed, but insisted that Iran was serious about striking a deal and that he believed an agreement was possible "in the near future."

Mottaki said that such a deal, which would be seen as an important breakthrough in Iran’s standoff with the West, "would be a way out of the present conditions."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suddenly made an apparent about-turn on Tuesday, however, saying on national television that he would have "no problem" sending some LEU abroad.

EU and US officials, wearied by years of fruitless talks to persuade Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and ease concerns about its atomic ambitions, suspect the move is brinkmanship to avert a fourth round of sanctions.

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates said in Ankara that talks on "some kind of other deal on the research reactor" than that proposed by the IAEA would have to take place within the formal setting of the Vienna-based agency.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose country, along with fellow UN Security Council member China, is seen as less keen on more sanctions, also urged Iran to work through the UN watchdog.

"What we want from Iran is to verify very specific questions, raised time and again by the IAEA a long time ago, it is not a difficult thing to do," he said in Munich.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said any fresh sanctions must target Tehran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons "and not be expanded to cultural, humanitarian, economic parts of Iranian activity."
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