In a brief meeting with the press, IAEA Director General Mohammad ElBaradei said that the nuclear supply is needed to ensure the Tehran Research Reactor´s continued operation, which serves purely humanitarian objectives. He praised the resolve shown by all of the parties to the talks to help, to look to the future rather than the past, and to heal the wounds that had existed for a number of years.
Noting that the arrangement to convert Iranian low-enriched uranium into fuel is a very important confidence-building measure, Director General ElBaradei remarked that an agreed arrangement could defuse a long-standing crisis and open space for negotiation. The draft agreement he had circulated, reflected a balanced approach in the way forward, stated Dr. ElBaradei. Since the parties had been making progress in considering both technical and legal issues, as well as seeking to build trust and confidence, Director General ElBaradei expressed cautious optimism that the draft agreement would be approved by the deadline he had specified, Friday, 22 October, 2009. Director General ElBaradei informed the press that the technical meeting was unique since it had been followed by heads of state, and hoped for positive action from the capitals considering the draft document, leading to the agreement´s approval by all the parties. In conclusion, he urged the parties to consider the big picture in which this agreement could lead the way towards a complete normalization of relations between Iran and the international community.
The representatives from France, Iran, Russia and the United States began their discussions at the Agency´s Headquarters in Vienna on Monday, 19 October 2009. The talks focused on proposals to provision nuclear fuel needed for the sustained operation of the Tehran Research Reactor. The reactor produces medical radioisotopes for therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. The Agency had been requested by Iran to facilitate talks with possible suppliers of nuclear fuel for the reactor as part of the Agency´s statutory functions.