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Iran claims 'new approach' in dealings with nuclear watchdog

Iran's deputy foreign minister has said Tehran is offering a "new approach" in talks with the UN nuclear watchdog. Negotiations came about after Iranian President Hasan Rouhani said he was keen for a quick deal.

Iran's senior negotiator on Monday said he was positive about the chances of progress in the latest round of talks after he had met with Yukiya Amano (pictured left), who is head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"We think that it is time to take a new approach to resolve questions between Iran and the IAEA," Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi (right) told reporters in Vienna, where he was later due to meet .

"I am very hopeful that we can come out with a good result," Araghchi said.

While the UN's Amano did not give details about Iran's stance to the press, he did say that it had been a "very useful and constructive meeting," adding that he was "very hopeful."

"It is very important for all of us that we can show concrete progress," said Amano.

IAEA experts have been meeting Iranian counterparts, seeking Tehran's approval for on-site verification of Western intelligence claims. The fear among Western nations is that Tehran is using its uranium enrichment program to stockpile fissile material for nuclear weapons.

Iran says it refines uranium only for energy generation and use in medical treatments, and wants an end to international sanctions imposed because of its perceived lack of cooperation.

Watchdog seeks greater access

In particular, the IAEA has tried since early 2012 to access Iranian documents and sites, including the Parchin military installation, where nuclear warhead components were allegedly tested.

Although there was no progress at the previous round of talks in late September, the atmosphere was said to have be more constructive than on previous occasions. A flurry of diplomatic activity has followed pledges by the new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani that Tehran would like a swift deal between it and the so-called P5+1 group of powers.

That grouping includes the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as Germany.

On Wednesday and Thursday, officials from the European Union and the P5+1 are set to meet in Vienna to prepare for a meeting between foreign policy leaders in Geneva, starting on November 7.

rc/ph (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)