UN atomic agency to hold further discussions with Iran over nuclear programme

1 February 2012Experts from the United Nations atomic energy watchdog have wrapped up their visit to Iran, saying they will continue to hold discussions later this month over concerns about the country’s nuclear programme. The experts, from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), met with Iranian officials in the country’s capital, Tehran, from Sunday to Tuesday in an effort to resolve outstanding substantive issues. Another meeting will now be held in Tehran on 21-22 February, according to an IAEA statement.The IAEA delegation also discussed with Iranian officials the initial steps that need to be taken by the country.“The agency is committed to intensifying dialogue. It remains essential to make progress on substantive issues,” said Yukiya Amano, the IAEA Director General.The statement noted that the experts had explained their concerns and identified priorities, which focus on the clarification of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.Iran has repeatedly stated that its nuclear programme is for the peaceful purpose of providing energy, but some countries contend it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. The Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran, citing the proliferation risks of its nuclear programme and its continued failure to cooperate with the IAEA.