IAEA chief sees 'positive move' from Iran on nuclear intentions

July 19, 2007 - 0:0

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Iran's decision to allow inspections of its heavy water reactor at Arak and its willingness to discuss its nuclear program are positive steps, the UN's atomic watchdog chief said Wednesday.

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that following a meeting in Iran last week Tehran agreed ""for the first time"" to discuss remaining issues over its nuclear intentions. ""So we are seeing at least a positive move on the part of Iran but I hope that we will continue on that road,"" ElBaradei said during a visit to Malaysia. Iran and the IAEA are to hold a fresh round of talks in Vienna on July 25 and 26, and Tehran also agreed to allow inspection by the end of July of the heavy water research reactor under construction at Arak. As a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Iran has right to nuclear technology to generate electricity; however, the United States claims that it may be cover for atomic weapons building. ElBaradei called for patience but said Iran needed to continue efforts to assure the international community over its nuclear intentions. ""We require a consistent effort by Iran to work with us and we also require the international community to understand that this is a complex process that will take some time,"" he said. But ""the earlier we are able to say that the Iranian program is exclusively for peaceful purpose, the better for Iran, the better for the international community.