VIENNA, (Reuters) – Iran’s national security chief Ali Larijani will meet the U.N. nuclear watchdog director in Vienna on Friday, officials said, en route to Germany where he will see senior EU ministers.
International Atomic Energy Agency officials declined to say what would be discussed at the evening meeting between Larijani and IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei.
ElBaradei has been urging Iran and Western powers to defuse a standoff over Tehran’s nuclear activity without drifting into conflict. Iran says it is enriching uranium only for power plant fuel. Western leaders suspect a disguised atom bomb project.
The Vienna-based IAEA was due on Friday to release recommendations on freezing technical aid projects in Iran to heed requirements of a U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution passed against Iran in December.
Larijani said he would have negotiations at a security conference in Munich, Germany, this weekend with European Union leaders. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier were among those expected to see Larijani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator. But EU diplomats said there would only be exploratory talks, not full-fledged negotiations, as long as Iran continued to refuse to stop enriching uranium for nuclear fuel as demanded by the Security Council.
Tehran has vowed to ramp up its nuclear programme from experimental enrichment of uranium to industrial-scale production shortly at its Natanz plant, a huge fortified bunker ringed by anti-aircraft batteries.