VIENNA – Iran's nuclear energy chief said on Tuesday he had held "very good" and "transparent" talks with the head of the U.N. atomic agency and had invited him to visit the Islamic state's nuclear facilities.
The rare meeting in Vienna between Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani and Director General Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) follows increasingly strained ties between Tehran and the U.N. body over the last year.
Iran has rebuffed IAEA appeals for information and access to help clarify allegations of military-linked nuclear work.
Western powers suspect Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability, a charge it rejects.
Abbasi-Davani, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said the two sides pledged to resolve their problems through more dialogue in future.
"We don't have differences of view," he told reporters. But he did not give any details on what was discussed and there was no sign that he had made any major concessions in the long-running row over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
Iran's refusal to halt enrichment has led to four rounds of U.N. sanctions on the major oil producer, as well tighter U.S. and European Union restrictions.
An IAEA official confirmed the meeting took place but declined to elaborate. The two men met on the sidelines of a major international nuclear safety meeting in Vienna.
Despite his positive comments about the talks, Fereydoun-Abbasi also made clear his irritation at the agency, accusing it of preventing some of the country's nuclear experts from attending scientific meetings.
"We have objected and protested," Abbasi-Davani said. "We consider this kind of act as an ugly and inhuman act."
Amano has taken a blunter approach toward Iran than his predecessor, Mohamed ElBaradei, saying in his first report on the country's nuclear activities last year he feared it may be working to develop a nuclear-armed missile. (Reuters)