'Israelis, Iranians discussed nukes'

Israelis, Iranians met

October 22, 2009 10:11
1 minute read.


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Israeli and Iranian officials discussed nuclear issues in the Middle East during a Cairo conference last month, according to media reports Thursday morning. Israel Radio, however, quoted an Iranian nuclear official as denying the report. He said that there was no meeting, direct or indirect, between Israeli and Iranian officials. Reuters had reported that the brief meeting took place during at a Middle East disarmament conference on September 29-30. An Israeli official quoted by Reuters said that the exchange had taken place during an open session, when Iranian delegate Ali Ashghar Soltanieh had asked his Israeli counterpart, Meirav Zafary-Odiz a question about Israel's nuclear capabilities. "She gave her answers, and later the Israeli delegation addressed a question in the same vein to the Iranians, which was answered," the official was quoted as saying. AFP quoted Israeli Atomic Energy Commission representative Yael Doron as confirming the meeting, which she said took place during a session organized by Australia. "These meetings were held behind closed doors," Doron was further quoted as saying. She did not give any additional details. Also Thursday, French Defense Minister Herve Morin said that the French and Israeli armies regularly swap information on Iran's nuclear program. "We have to know what's going on, so we exchange our information," Morin said. Morin was responding to a question on RTL radio about a reported Paris meeting two weeks ago between the French, Israeli and US armies. He did not respond directly to that claim, saying only that France consults "happily" with its partners. Morin's comments, and news of the Israeli-Iranian meeting, broke a day after reports that Iranian negotiators had expressed support for a deal that - if accepted by their leaders - would delay Teheran's ability to build nuclear weapons by sending most of its known existing enriched uranium to Russia for processing. Both the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry had no comment on the development, saying it was premature to discuss, since all that was being talked about at this time was a draft. AP and Herb Keinon contributed to this report

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