January 31, 2012 / 4:53 PM / 6 years ago

Iran, U.N. end "constructive" nuclear talks: FARS

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran completed a "constructive" round of talks with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog on Tuesday and further meetings are planned, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

"Talks between Iran and the visiting team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were constructive and ... the two sides agreed to continue the talks," Fars quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The senior United Nations nuclear inspectors went to Tehran on Saturday for talks with Iranian officials on suspicions that the Islamic state is seeking atomic weapons, and to try to advance efforts to resolve the nuclear row.

The West suspects that Iran's uranium enrichment activities have military aims but Tehran says they are for peaceful electricity generation.

The Fars report said the date of future talks between Iran and IAEA had been set, but did not give details.

Western diplomats have often accused Iran of using offers of dialogue as a stalling tactic while it presses ahead with its nuclear program, and say they doubt whether Tehran will show the kind of concrete cooperation the IAEA wants.

Iran may offer limited concessions and transparency in an attempt to ease intensifying international pressure on the country, a major oil producer, they say. But that is unlikely to amount to the full cooperation that is required.

Iran's state-run Arabic language television channel al Alam quoted an unnamed official as saying that only "technical and legal issues were discussed during the talks" on Tuesday, adding that the team had not visited any nuclear sites.

Some hardline Iranian students gathered in front of the country's Atomic Energy Organisation on Tuesday to protest against the IAEA inspectors' visit, ISNA news agency reported.

Tension with the West rose this month when Washington and the EU imposed the toughest sanctions yet in a drive to force Tehran to provide more information on its nuclear program. The measures take direct aim at the ability of OPEC's second biggest Oil exporter to sell its crude.

EU leaders agreed to implement their own embargo on Iranian oil by July and to freeze the assets of Iran's central bank, joining the United States in a new round of measures aimed at deflecting Tehran's nuclear development program.

Iran rejected EU sanctions on its oil as "psychological warfare" and threatened to cut off oil exports to European countries before July 1 when the EU sanctions would be fully enforced.

Iranian officials have also repeatedly shrugged off the impact of sanctions, saying the Islamic state has responded by becoming more self-reliant.

The EU accounted for 25 percent of Iranian crude oil sales in the third quarter of 2011. But analysts say the global oil market will not be overly disrupted if Iran's parliament votes to turn off the oil tap for Europe.

Potentially more disruptive to the oil market and global security is the risk of Iran's standoff with the West escalating into military conflict.

Iran has repeatedly said it could close the vital Strait of Hormuz shipping lane if sanctions prevent it from exporting crude, a move Washington said it would not tolerate.

Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian and Parisa Hafezi, Writing by Zahra Hosseinian,; Editing by Jon Boyle

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below