Israel, Iran in secret N-talks?
October 23, 2009
The Jewish state also said it was worried about a draft deal drawn up by the International Atomic Energy Agency aimed at allaying Western suspicions over Iran's nuclear programme.
The spokeswoman for Israel's Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) Yael Doron told AFP the commission's representative had held several meetings with an Iranian official “in a regional context” and under Australia's auspices.
Doron declined to give details of the meetings, but the Haaretz daily said the officials discussed the chances of declaring the Middle East a nuclear-free zone during the talks in September, the first between the two archfoes to be officially disclosed since the shah of Iran was overthrown in 1979.
Haaretz said Meirav Zafary-Odiz, IAEC director of policy and arms control, and Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's delegate to the IAEA, met several times in Cairo at the end of September.
Also at the meeting were representatives of the Arab League, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Saudia Arabia, as well as European and US officials, the daily said.
It said the meeting was held under the auspices of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation set up at the initiative of Australian PM Kevin Rudd.
Iran's state TV website dismissed the reports. “The reports in this regard are sheer lies and there has been no meeting in Cairo,” the spokesman for the Iranian Atomic Organisation said.