Tehran: A team from the UN atomic watchdog, led by chief inspector Herman Nackaerts arrived on Thursday for talks with nuclear officials on Iran's controversial nuclear programme, a news agency reported.
    
The International Atomic Energy Agency says the aim of the talks is to sign an agreement on a "structured approach" giving IAEA inspectors broader access to sites, including the Parchin military site, and people working in Iran's nuclear programme.
    
The resumption of talks with the IAEA comes after several meetings since the start of 2012, all unsuccessful.
    
One Vienna diplomat said that this team is larger than in past visits to Tehran in February and in May, and now included two "technical experts" who could conduct verification work at Parchin, if invited.
    
The IAEA says it has evidence suggesting Iran conducted explosives research at Parchin that would be relevant in making nuclear weapons.
    
Iran denies seeking or ever having sought the bomb and has refused the IAEA access to Parchin, saying that as a non-nuclear site the agency has no right to conduct inspections there.
    
"We also hope that Iran will allow us to go to the site of Parchin, and if Iran would grant us access we would welcome that chance and we are ready to go," Nackaerts told reporters at Vienna airport on Thursday.
    
However, Tehran said that the trip will focus on discussions regarding "Iran's nuclear rights as well as its peaceful nuclear activities," according to foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast.
    
But "certain issues that have possibly become a source of concern for (IAEA) officials can also be discussed," Mehmanparast said on Tuesday, without elaborating.
    
Subject to international sanctions, Iran has always rejected the IAEA's suspicions, maintaining that it does not intend to develop nuclear energy for military uses.
    
Tehran stresses that the IAEA's demands exceed Iran's obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which it is a signatory.

(Agencies)

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