ElBaradei 'hopeful' of new nuclear talks with Iran

18th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 October 2005, VIENNA - The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said on Tuesday he was "hopeful" of fresh negotiations with Tehran aimed at ending the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme.

18 October 2005

VIENNA - The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said on Tuesday he was "hopeful" of fresh negotiations with Tehran aimed at ending the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme.

After meeting with Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Vienna, ElBaradei told a press conference: "I would say that things are moving in the right direction."

Tehran was cooperating with IAEA inspections, he said, pointing out that only yesterday, an IAEA team of inspectors had returned from Iran.

ELBaradei also said several "third parties" were trying for a formula which would allow the E.U.-3 of France, Germany and Britain to return to the negotiating table with Iran.

"In the next few weeks, things could be clearer," he said. ElBaradei's comments came after reports that South Africa recently worked out a compromise proposal for the resumption of talks with Iran.

ElBaradei said that winning the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize had strengthened his hand in speaking about matters "which are relevant to our survival". In October 7, the IAEA and its Egyptian chief were announced co-winners of the prize.

President Fischer said the Nobel Committee's choice reflected the IAEA's commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts and to highlighting the dangers of nuclear armament.

The United States and E.U. suspect Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian atomic energy programme. The IAEA Board of Governors passed a resolution in September stating Iran had violated the terms of the nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty.

Tehran says its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

Fischer said his 45-minute talks with ElBaradei had touched on the situation in North Korea, and developments in ElBaradei's home country Egypt, as well as the Iran nuclear issue,

On Thursday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit is due to arrive in Austria for a visit.

DPA

Subject: German news

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