Iran expects breakthrough in nuclear talks

Sept. 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM
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TEHRAN, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The Iranian government expects to make major breakthroughs with international nuclear negotiations, the head of Iran's nuclear agency said Wednesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said last week it suspected there was a military dimension to certain aspects of Iran's nuclear program.

Iran's adversaries accuse Tehran of pursuing the technology to manufacture a nuclear weapon, an allegation Iran denies.

Ali Akbar Salehi, director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said Iran expects to make progress with nuclear negotiations.

"This year, we will witness breakthroughs in the [nuclear] issue in the coming months," he was quoted as saying Wednesday by state-backed broadcaster Press TV. "We are very optimistic about the process."

Iran held two rounds of nuclear talks this year in Kazakhstan with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany. Talks were described as amicable, though little progress was made.

Iran said it was ready for more negotiations with members of the so-called P5+1 provided its rights as a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty were respected.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week called on Iran to "fulfill its pledge to enhance the transparency of its nuclear program."

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