Iran: IAEA talks for May 13-14 in Vienna

April 28, 2012 - 5:06 AM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A new round of talks between Tehran and the U.N.'s nuclear agency will be held in Vienna on May 13-14, Iran's state TV reported Saturday in a signal of possible progress after separate negotiations resumed with world powers over the country's controversial nuclear program.

The technical talks in Vienna with the International Atomic Energy Agency come in addition to negotiations with the six world powers — U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany — set for May 23 in Baghdad.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's chief delegate to the IAEA, said the talks will focus on resolving "questions" about Tehran's alleged attempt to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran and the IAEA have been at loggerheads over the agency's inspections of Iranian military sites. IAEA inspectors have demanded access to a military complex where the agency suspects secret atomic work has been carried out. Iran says inspectors will be allowed to visit the Parchin military site as a goodwill gesture, but it would require agreement between the two sides on guidelines for the inspection.

IAEA officials have said satellite photos of Parchin show an apparent clean-up under way, adding they fear protracted talks on a framework for the visit could be a delaying tactic.

Iran has rejected such allegations as misleading, saying any alleged radioactive traces could not be cleaned up.

The TV quoted Soltanieh as saying that talks will be held at the offices of Iran's mission to the IAEA in the Austrian capital. They follow previous rounds of talks in January and February.

The U.S. and some of its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the charges, saying its nuclear program is peaceful and aimed at producing electricity and radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.