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Talks with UN nuclear watchdog positive: Iran

world Updated: Aug 09, 2008 01:24 IST

Iran said on Friday talks on its controversial nuclear drive with top UN atomic watchdog official Olli Heinonen were "positive", as EU governments imposed fresh sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Heinonen, deputy head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), wrapped up two days of meetings with Iranian nuclear officials who did not give further details on the nature of the talks in Tehran.

"Current developments as well as relations between Iran's atomic energy organisation and the IAEA were discussed in a positive atmosphere," said the deputy chief of Iran's atomic energy organisation, Mohammad Saeedi, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

It was not clear if the IAEA mission was directly related to a package of incentives being offered to Tehran if it freezes uranium enrichment, a process Western nations fear could be diverted to build an atomic weapon.

A diplomat close to the IAEA had said Heinonen's visit was likely to concentrate on clarifying outstanding questions the watchdog has about Iran's nuclear programme rather than the incentives offer.

EU nations said today they have introduced new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, including restrictions on public loans and tougher cargo inspections.

The new measures came after Iran gave an ambiguous answer to big powers' demand that it freezes key nuclear work.

The Security Council has already ordered three rounds of sanctions against Iran.