Israel said Thursday that its atomic expert met a leading Iranian official over in the first direct talks between the two countries in 30 years. The spokeswoman for Israel's Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) Yael Doron told AFP the commission's representative had held several meetings with an Iranian official "in a regional context" and under Australia's auspices.
Iran denied that it had held any nuclear talks with the Jewish state. According to the Haaretz daily, the officials discussed the chances of declaring the Middle East a nuclear-free zone during the talks held in Cairo in late September. The Israeli daily reported Meirav Zafary-Odiz, IAEC director of policy and arms control, and Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA,) met several times in the Egyptian capital during a nuclear conference.
Also at the meeting were representatives of the Arab League, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Saudia Arabia, as well as European and US officials, the daily said.
Iran's state television website dismissed the reports. "This lie is a kind of psychological operation designed to affect the constant success of Iran's dynamic diplomacy in the Geneva and Vienna meetings," atomic organisation spokesman Ali Shirzadian was quoted as saying.