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No sign of breakthrough in Iran nuclear talks

Monday, May 21, 2012 - 02:09

May 21 - The chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency holds rare talks in Tehran on Iran's nuclear program. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief holds extensive talks in Iran Monday, but so far, no sign of a breakthrough deal. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano paid a rare visit to Tehran after voicing hope for Iranian agreement to cooperate with an IAEA investigation into suspected atomic bomb research. Amano met the head of Iran's nuclear energy agency, and its top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, who will sit down in Baghdad Wednesday with world powers seeking overall curbs on Iran's disputed atomic activity. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRAN'S CHIEF NUCLEAR NEGOTIATOR, SAEED JALILI, SAYING: "We would like to have good cooperation with the agency (the IAEA), so that we can help strengthen the agency, so that the agency can meet its objectives in a variety of areas, specifically in three areas: defending the right of (agency) members to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, for achieving nuclear disarmament, and to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation." There was no indication that Iran had addressed Amano's overriding priority - a deal to obtain access for IAEA investigators to Iranian sites. Amano scheduled Monday's talks with Iran at such short notice that diplomats said a deal on improved IAEA access might be near. But few saw Tehran going far enough to convince the West to roll back swiftly on punitive sanctions. Pressure for a deal has risen. Escalating Western sanctions on Iran's economically vital energy exports, and threats by Israel and the United States of last-ditch military action, have pushed up world oil prices, compounding the economic misery wrought by debt crises in many industrialized countries. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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No sign of breakthrough in Iran nuclear talks

Monday, May 21, 2012 - 02:09