IAEA to send high-level team to Iran

Vienna, Nov 18: The International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) will send its high-level team to Tehran to hold talks with the Iranian government over its controversial nuclear programme, Xinhua reported.

The IAEA mission will be headed by its Deputy Director Herman Nackaerts, said Yukiya Amano, the IAEA’s chief, while talking to reporters after opening an IAEA board meeting in Vienna Thursday.

Although there is still no time frame for initiating the dialogue, but a delay will be ‘inappropriate’, said Amano, adding that the talks will not only help allay international concerns, but also be in the interests of Iran.

In his opening speech of the board meeting, Amano asked Iran to engage substantively with the IAEA without delay and provide the requested clarifications regarding possible military dimensions to its nuclear program.

In response to questions about the independence and credibility of the recent IAEA report suggesting Iran has engaged in weapon-related nuclear activities, Amano stressed that the report was based on ‘credible’ evidence.

Iran has rejected the allegations in the report, accusing the US of using the IAEA as a tool to pressure Iran over its ‘peaceful’ nuclear programme.