The UN atomic agency and Iran may hold a new round of nuclear talks in August, diplomats said on Monday.
A diplomat in Vienna, where the International Atomic Energy Agency is based, said he believed the aim was for an IAEA-Iran meeting in mid-August but that no decision had yet been taken.
“I think that no meeting in August would be a bad sign,” another Western envoy said.
That would be shortly before the IAEA issues its next, quarterly report on Iran’s nuclear program in late August and ahead of a weeklong session of the UN agency’s 35-nation governing board in September.
The IAEA-Iran discussions are separate from, but still closely associated with, broader negotiations between Tehran and six world powers aimed at a political solution to the dispute.
The IAEA, in an e-mailed response to a Reurters question, said it had no news to report about any future discussions with Iran. They last met in May in Vienna.
International hopes for a resolution of the nuclear dispute were boosted by the election of Rouhani because he has promised a different approach to foreign relations, and specially the country’s nuclear standoff with the West, than incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, yet he has underlined that access and use of the nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment, is an indispensible part of Iran’s rights.
But Western officials know well that it is Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei who decides nuclear policy.
Iran says it is enriching uranium only to fuel nuclear power stations, and for medical purposes. But the Western states claim that Iran intends to ultimately make a nuclear bomb, although they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told Reuters last month he remained committed to dialogue with Iran to address the UN agency’s concerns.