IAEA head believes that Iran-Europe talks will resume within a month

The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Wednesday he is optimistic that talks between European mediators and Iran on its disputed nuclear program would resume within a month.

A day after Iran reiterated it was ready to reopen talks with Europeans over its disputed nuclear program, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, voiced his belief that a third party was needed to provide a "face-saving" way out of the impasse.

Washington says Iran's nuclear program is aimed at producing a nuclear bomb.

At a news conference later, ElBaradei said the IAEA had gone a good way toward understanding the Iranian nuclear program but that "the jury is still out" on whether Tehran has a weapons program, the AP reports.

On Monday, the United States urged governments to end nuclear projects with Iran in light of a recent IAEA finding that Tehran is not complying with the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.

Russia has been at the center of the controversy because it is building a nuclear plant in Iran that the United States says could be used by Iran to make nuclear weapons. Moscow has stressed that it shares the goal of ensuring Iran does not develop weapons, but Russian officials have said repeatedly they oppose the Western tactic of pressuring Tehran. AM

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