Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency held “very productive” discussions this week about resolving a rift over the Middle Eastern nation’s nuclear activities and will meet again in two weeks, the two sides said Tuesday in an unusual joint statement.
The declaration came after two days of meetings that started on Monday with a face-to-face talk between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano at the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s headquarters in Vienna. Iranian and IAEA technical experts then spent Monday and Tuesday pouring over an undisclosed Iranian proposal for resolving outstanding issues regarding his nation’s nuclear program — which Iran insists is peaceful but some nations fear is geared toward weapons development.
Tero Varjoranta, IAEA deputy director general in charge of nuclear inspections, on Tuesday told reporters gathered at his agency’s headquarters that the two-day technical meeting was “very productive.”
“Iran presented a new proposal on practical measures as a constructive contribution to strengthen cooperation and dialogue with a view to future resolution of all outstanding issues,” Varjoranta said, reading the joint statement.
Iran and the U.N. atomic watchdog decided after their “substantive discussions” that they will convene another meeting in Tehran on Nov. 11, in order “to take this cooperation forward,” Varjoranta said.
Iranian Ambassador Reza Najafi, standing next to Varjoranta, spoke optimistically about a new resolution to the nuclear dispute that he said his country is offering.
“I believe that, with the submission of these new proposals by Iran, we have been able to open a new chapter of cooperation,” he said, according to Reuters.
Iran’s meetings with the U.N. body are separate and distinct from those it also is holding with the so-called “P-5+1” — United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany. Technical experts from the seven nations are slated to meet on Wednesday and Thursday in Vienna in preparation for a Nov. 7-8 Geneva summit between senior diplomats from the countries.
In the United States, some members of Congress are pushing for the passage of Senate legislation that would expand economic sanctions against Iran. President Obama’s administration has pled with Senate aides to delay any move to expand sanctions as talks continue with the Middle Eastern nation.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday night said it “would be the height of irresponsibility” to not continue the diplomatic negotiations with Iran, according to Bloomberg.
“We will not succumb to fear tactics” against continuing the talks, Kerry said at the nonpartisan U.S. Institute of Peace. Kerry didn’t elaborate on his comments. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, though, has been critical of the Obama administration’s desire to engage as it has been with Iran.
Obama and Netanyahu talked over the phone on Monday about Iran and other issues, Reuters reported separately.
“The two leaders agreed to continue their close coordination on a range of security issues,” the White House said.
What We're Following See More »
"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."
After a lighthearted beginning, Donald Trump's appearance at the Al Smith charity dinner in New York "took a tough turn as the crowd repeatedly booed the GOP nominee for his sharp-edged jokes about his rival Hillary Clinton."
Evan McMullin came out on top in a Emerson College poll of Utah with 31% of the vote. Donald Trump came in second with 27%, while Hillary Clinton took third with 24%. Gary Johnson received 5% of the vote in the survey.
A new Quinnipiac University poll finds Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by seven percentage points, 47%-40%. Trump’s “lead among men and white voters all but” vanished from the university’s early October poll. A new PPRI/Brookings survey shows a much bigger lead, with Clinton up 51%-36%. And an IBD/TIPP poll leans the other way, showing a virtual dead heat, with Trump taking 41% of the vote to Clinton’s 40% in a four-way matchup.