A political solution in the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program is still possible, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, but she added Tehran posed a threat not just to Israel but to the whole world.
“I support a political solution … and I believe that we are not at the point where the search for political solutions has been exhausted,” she told a news conference in Berlin.
The U.N. atomic watchdog chief said earlier that the agency will hold further talks with Iran aimed at clarifying concerns about its nuclear program, despite the lack of progress so far.
The International Atomic Energy Agency is “firmly committed” to intensifying dialogue with the Islamic state, Yukiya Amano told the IAEA’s annual member state gathering.
He gave no date for a possible new round of talks that began in January between IAEA officials and Iran aimed at allaying concern Tehran may be developing nuclear weapons capability, a charge Iran denies. The last meeting was in August.
Iran’s atomic energy chief, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, was due to address the IAEA meeting later on Monday. Abbasi-Davani was also expected to meet Amano.
The IAEA has been trying to reach a framework accord with Iran that would allow the Vienna-based U.N. agency to resume a long-stalled investigation into suspected atom bomb research in the Islamic Republic.
“We will continue negotiations with Iran on a structured approach to resolving all outstanding issues,” Amano said, referring to such an accord.
“I hope we can reach agreement without further delay, to be followed by immediate implementation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Iran’s chief negotiator held talks with Turkey’s foreign minister on Monday about Tehran’s disputed nuclear program and may meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday, a diplomatic source said.
Iran’s chief negotiator Saeed Jalili met Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara to brief him on last week’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting in Vienna, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said.
A diplomatic source said Jalili may travel to Istanbul to meet Ashton on Tuesday. Ashton’s office had no immediate comment.
The 35-nation board of the U.N. nuclear watchdog censured Iran last Thursday for defying international demands to curb uranium enrichment and failing to address mounting disquiet about its suspected research into atomic bombs.