Visiting UN atomic agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday
urged Tehran to be more transparent over its disputed nuclear
program, after talks with an Iranian senior nuclear official in
"We made good progress in our negotiation...and in the talks
with Mr. (Gholam Reza) Aqazadeh we requested for more transparency
so we could give necessary guarantees to Iran," ElBaradei was
quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency at a press
conference after his meeting with Aqazadeh, head of Iran's atomic
Aqazadeh(R), head of Iran's
atomic energy organization, speaks with International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei (L) during a news
conference in Tehran Jan. 11, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters
"We could prepare the ground for Iran's activities
in the future if we can make its current and past activities
transparent," he added.
Meanwhile, according to Xinhua correspondent at the scene,
ElBaradei urged Iran to "accelerate the pace of its cooperation"
with IAEA, saying his mission in Iran this time was to "overcome
difficulties" between the two sides.
Aqazadeh, for his side, vowed Iran would continue the
cooperation with IAEA, and urging the nuclear dossier to be
returned to the agency from the UN Security Council.
ElBaradei, who was accompanied by his deputy Olli Heinonen,
arrived in Tehran Friday morning at the invitation of Aqazadeh.
According to his spokeswoman Melissa Fleming in Vienna,
ElBaradei "hoped his visit can contribute to the clarification of
some vague issues regarding Iran's nuclear programs and would help
to find measures to improve and accelerate the IAEA's supervision
and inspection on the programs".
During his two-day visit in Iran, which was the first in overone
and a half years, ElBaradei is scheduled to meet President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and may hold
talks with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to local
ElBaradei's visit came amid the international community was
discussing a new round of sanctions against Tehran over its
defiance of refusing to suspend uranium enrichment work, which the
West fears could be diverted into weapon use.
The Isfahan nuclear power
plant, 2005. (Xinhua/AFP File Photo)
After more than four years of investigation, the IAEA still
cannot decide whether Tehran's nuclear program was just for
peaceful purposes or not. During his last report released in
mid-November, ElBaradei said "Iran has made substantial progress in
revealing the nature and extent of its disputed nuclear program,
but needs to be more pro-active in providing information."
The United States has accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear
weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, which Iran
has denied. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful
The UN Security Council has adopted two resolutions -- one in
December 2006 and the other in March of 2007 -- to force Iran to
suspend uranium enrichment activities and to give up its nuclear
The U.S. and some of its allies have never ruled out the
possibility of a military attack if diplomatic means fail to solve
the nuclear issue, but local analysts have said it was almost
impossible in the near future after the release of a U.S.
intelligence report last month that concluded Iran had stopped its
nuclear weapons program in late 2003 and had not resumed it
(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2008)