Speaking during talks conducted in Vienna by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — the UN’s nuclear watchdog — Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on October 28 that his country will offer a “new approach” toward settling the ongoing controversy over its nuclear fuel enrichment program.
VOA News reported that Araqchi expressed hope that a meeting of the minds with IAEA officials is within reach.
“It is time to take a new approach to resolve questions between Iran and the IAEA and look to the future for further cooperation in order to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, which is peaceful and will remain peaceful forever,” he said. “And we hope that the agency can play a very constructive role to ensure that the world will remain peaceful.”
The IAEA’s director general, Yukiya Amano, expressed his view that the talks presented an opportunity to move forward with negotiations. “Today’s meeting is a very important opportunity for us to discuss ways forward to address all the outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program,” Amano said. “These are longstanding and complicated issues. It is very important for all of us that we can show concrete progress.”
The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran, following a report by the IAEA’s Board of Governors charging Iran's alleged non-compliance with its safeguards agreement. The first of these, UN Security Council Resolution 1696, which was passed on July 31, 2006, demanded that Iran suspend all nuclear enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and threatened sanctions against the country. Security Council Resolution 1737, which passed on December 23, 2006, demanded that Iran suspend enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and cooperate with the IAEA, imposed sanctions banning the supply of nuclear-related materials and technology, and froze the assets of key individuals and companies related to the program. Security Council Resolution 1747, passed on March 24, 2007, imposed an arms embargo and expanded the freeze on Iranian assets. Security Council Resolution 1803, passed on March 3, 2008, extended the asset freezes and called upon states to monitor the activities of Iranian banks, inspect Iranian ships and aircraft, and to monitor the movement of individuals involved with the program through their territory.
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