Thursday, October 22, 2009

Iran denies 'secret Israel talks'


"Iran has denied newspaper reports that its officials had held secret talks recently with their Israeli counterparts to explore the possibility of declaring the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.

The Haaretz on Thursday said that Meirav Zafary-Odiz, of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, and Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), met several times on September 29 and 30 in Cairo, the Egyptian capital.

But Ali Shirzadia, the spokesman for the Islamic Republic's atomic energy organisation, said there was no truth in the claim.....[However, spokeswoman of the Israeli Atomic Commission told AFP on Thursday that several meetings with an Iranian representative took place.
وقالت المتحدثة باسم لجنة الطاقة الذرية في إسرائيل يائيل دورون لوكالة فرانس برس إن اجتماعات عدة جرت بين ممثلة للجنتنا ومسؤول إيراني في إطار إقليمي.]

The Haaretz report said that the talks in Cairo talks were the first direct meeting between official representatives of the two countries since the fall of the Shah in 1979. The meetings were held behind closed doors, and all participants committed to complete secrecy to allow a full and frank discussion, the paper said.

Media leak

But it added that news of the talks was leaked by Australian sources to the Australian daily, The Age......"

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