International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano attends a news conference during a board of governors meeting at the UN headquarters in Vienna November 17, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
VIENNA - Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday said the UN nuclear watchdog would send a high-level team to Tehran to talk with the Iranian government over its controversial nuclear program.
The IAEA mission will be headed by the Deputy Director of the IAEA Herman Nackaerts, Amano told the press after opening an IAEA board meeting in Vienna.
Although there is still no time frame for initiating the dialogue, but a delay will be "inappropriate", said Amano, adding that the talks will not only help allay international concerns, but also be in the interests of Iran.
In his opening speech of the board meeting, Amano asked Iran to engage substantively with the IAEA without delay and provide the requested clarifications regarding possible military dimensions to its nuclear program.
In response to questions about the independence and credibility of the recent IAEA report suggesting Iran has engaged in weapon-related nuclear activities, Amano stressed that the report was based on "credible" evidence.
Iran has rejected the allegations in the report, accusing the United States of using the IAEA as a tool to pressure Iran over its "peaceful" nuclear program.