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Nuclear watchdog head welcomes Iran-EU talks

Written by: Staff

Vienna, Sept 11: The head of the UN nuclear watchdog today welcomed progress in talks between the European Union and Iran over Tehran's disputed uranium enrichment programme.

''I am ... encouraged that there is ongoing dialogue with the EU and other partners to create the conditions for the parties to go back into negotiations,'' Mohamed ElBaradei told journalists in Vienna.

''I still believe that negotiations is the best option to find a durable solution,'' the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said ahead a meeting of its governing board. ''However the window of opportunity is not very long.'' European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani said they made progress at the weekend towards formal negotiations to end a stalemate over Tehran's pursuit of technology that could yield atom bombs.

Washington's EU allies share its suspicions that Iran is engaged in a camouflaged bid to assemble nuclear bombs. All have condemned Iran's defiance of an August. 31 UN Security Council deadline to stop enriching uranium to qualify for trade benefits.


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