The second meeting of an Iran-EU working group on nuclear research and development ended in Tehran on Wednesday, in which the two sides reviewed joint research projects.
Ali Akbar Rezaei, director general of International Affairs Department of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, who headed the Iranian delegation at the talks, said the four-day discussions were a follow-up to the first meeting held last December in EU’s capital Brussels, ISNA reported.
The official said the two groups of experts have reviewed over 30 research proposals and the EU delegation has visited and evaluated six Iranian research centers.
“We are trying to benefit from the latest achievements of the global nuclear industry and move the nuclear program to the cutting edge of science,” he said.
Rezaei said nuclear cooperation between Iran and the EU conveys a “positive message” to the world, adding that “scientific exchanges in the field of research and development … indicate the will of Iran and Europe for widespread and long-term collaboration.”
The meeting was held at a time when the July 2015 nuclear deal, which enabled Iran to cooperate with the international community on peaceful applications of the nuclear energy, is facing a big threat from US President Donald Trump.
The controversial US leader has described the pact “the worst deal ever negotiated” and ordered an ongoing comprehensive review of it to find out whether it is in US interests to abandon its obligations under the deal.
This is while other parties to the deal, including European powers, Russia and China have openly rejected Trump’s efforts at dismantling the deal.
*** Next Meeting in Nov.
Rezaei said the next meeting of the working group is scheduled for November in Brussels, during which Iranian nuclear scientists will visit EU’s nuclear research and development centers.
“In the long run, we will be able to plan joint projects on peaceful applications of the nuclear energy,” he said.
Helena Zatlkajova, an EU expert representing European Atomic Energy Community in the talks, expressed her satisfaction with the outcome of the four-day discussions.
“We look forward to continued nuclear collaboration between Iran and the EU,” she said.
Iran has engaged in civil nuclear cooperation with a number of Asian and European countries since the 2015 nuclear deal, which calls for “cooperative international nuclear, physics and technology projects” with Iran.
In July 2016, Iran signed an agreement with France to take part in a multinational project on producing energy from nuclear fusion called International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor.
In January, Iran signed a deal with Moscow to become a major producer of heavy isotopes.