VIENNA — Iranian and UN negotiators said Tehran presented “constructive” ideas at talks over a proposed probe of suspicions Tehran worked on nuclear arms.
The sides agreed to meet again on November 11 in Tehran.
Negotiators refused to detail progress made. But their expressions of optimism, agreement to meet again and to do so in Iran indicated that the talks are gaining traction after nearly two years of deadlock.
The two sides usually speak separately after such meetings and a joint statement issued this time also indicated progress. It spoke of a “substantive discussion” and “cooperation” over two days, ending Tuesday.
Iranian negotiator Reza Najafi spoke of a “new chapter of cooperation” with negotiators from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Iran denies working on — or interest in — nuclear arms.
Earlier, Najafi told the Iranian ISNA news agency that the talks were “practical and intended to solve the issue between Iran and the agency,”
Iran and the IAEA began the talks yesterday aimed at negotiating a deal to give inspectors access to Iranian nuclear sites and related files.
Araghchi and other senior Iranian officials have repeatedly expressed willingness to work on reducing fears about Iran’s nuclear aims since reformist Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office in August. He is a senior negotiator for Iran at the Geneva talks.
As part of its probe, the IAEA is trying to gain access to a sector at Parchin, a sprawling military establishment southeast of Tehran. The agency suspects the site may have been used to test conventional explosive triggers meant to set off a nuclear blast.
Amano said earlier this year he was concerned about satellite images showing asphalt work, soil removal and “possible dismantling of infrastructures” there.
Najafi suggested that both Iran and the IAEA have to adopt a different approach to resolving their differences over the agency’s investigation.
“The approach of the past cannot be implemented and there must be changes to it,” he said.
Earlier in the week deputy Iranian foreign minister Abbas Araqchi had touted Iran’s “new approach” in talks, though he gave no specifics.
Araqchi expressed optimism after his meeting with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano Monday and indicated that this round of talks would be different to previous sessions that had failed to yield an agreement.
“I am very hopeful that we can come out with a good result,” Araqchi told reporters.
“We think this is the time to take a new approach to resolving [questions] between Iran and the IAEA and look to the future for further cooperation,” he said.
Iran is scheduled Wednesday to hold technical talks with representatives from six world powers over curbing its nuclear activity.
A meeting last month between Iran and the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany produced cautious optimism that a breakthrough could be reached, after years of stalled negotiations.