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ElBaradei starts talks with Iran’s president


Tehran : UN nuclear watchdog head Mohamed ElBaradei started talks Saturday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran.

ElBaradei has been in Tehran since Friday to push Iran to clarify all outstanding issues related to the country’s controversial nuclear programme.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met earlier Saturday with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. There were no immediate reports about the meeting.

ElBaradei is also to meet later Saturday Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to exchange thoughts on what Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization head Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh termed “very important issues” which could settle the nuclear dispute.

Khamenei constitutionally has the final say on all political affairs, especially the nuclear issue.

Aqazadeh had termed his Friday talks with the IAEA head as positive and declared Iran’s readiness to fully cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog “within a new phase” to settle all outstanding issues.

ElBaradei termed the talks with Aqazadeh as friendly and frank but called on Iran to intensify and accelerate its cooperation with the IAEA before the agency’s board of governors meeting in March.

Observers in Tehran say that Iran might declare its readiness to resume implementation of the IAEA Additional Protocol – allowing IAEA snap inspections – if no third UN resolution was issued against the Islamic state and the dossier returned to the IAEA from the Security Council.