Iran Nuclear Talks

UN Nuclear Chief Meets with Iran’s Rouhani, Zarif as Deal Deadline Looms

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency held high-level meetings with Iran’s president and foreign minister on Sunday, as a key deadline for the nuclear deal looms.

Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), met with President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif in Tehran.

He also met with Ali Salehi, the head of Iran’s nuclear agency. State television showed Amano meeting with the men separately.

Amano’s visit comes less than a month before an Oct. 15 deadline to gather information on allegations made by the West that Iran tried to build atomic weapons. Tehran has long described the allegations as based on false intelligence from the United States, Israel and other adversaries. A final U.N. assessment is due in December.

Iranian state media reported Amano’s visit was aimed at implementing the current landmark nuclear agreement, not probing allegations of Iranian nuclear misconduct.

After their meeting, Rouhani released a statement that said Iran “has not and will not seek any WMDs because of its religious beliefs and its military doctrine.”

“Fortunately, the peacefulness of Iran’s nuclear program has been proved during the past years and IAEA’s monitoring and its unannounced inspections have verified it and stated that Iran has never deviated from its peaceful program,” the statement on his official website said.

State television also showed footage of Amano attending a special parliamentary committee that is reviewing the nuclear deal. Speaking to state media, he said that his agency's work in Iran and elsewhere is "based on impartiality and persisting on facts."

Zarif, also on state media, said Iran had “cooperated well” and showed “transparency” in regards to its nuclear program.

“We now expect with the end of the talks that the long standing nuclear file on Iran that has been unjust and incorrect about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program will now be closed,” he said.