TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian nuclear officials and a visiting team from the U.N. nuclear watchdog held a second round of talks on Thursday to discuss ways to remove outstanding questions about Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.
Iran has offered to draw up an “action plan” to address Western suspicions that its nuclear programme is a front to obtain nuclear arms. Tehran says it needs nuclear technology only to generate power.
“The second round of talks between Iranians and the IAEA team has started,” the official IRNA news agency reported, without giving any details.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) deputy Director General Olli Heinonen and other agency officials held a first round of talks on Wednesday with an Iranian team led by Javad Vaeedi, deputy to Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday Iran had no intention of suspending its uranium enrichment activity, as demanded by the U.N. Security Council.
The U.N. watchdog’s Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has said Iran’s transparency offer combined with what the IAEA has said was a slowdown in Iran’s uranium enrichment work had raised hopes of defusing the dispute between Iran and the West.
Results of the talks were expected to be announced on Thursday afternoon during a news conference.
Diplomats say the United States and its European Union allies believe Iran’s offer of transparency may be little more than a bid to buy time and avert further U.N. measures.
Two rounds of sanctions have been imposed on Iran since December for failing to halt enrichment, and a third one is being considered.
The IAEA wants explanations for traces of highly enriched -- bomb-grade -- uranium found on some equipment, and also wants more information about experiments with plutonium and the status of research into an advanced centrifuge able to enrich uranium three times as fast as the model Iran now uses.
The IAEA also wants to know more about documents showing how to cast uranium metal for a bomb core.
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