Israeli and Iranian Nuclear Officials Met for First Time in 30 Years

Israeli delegate just smiled when asked if Israel has nuclear weapons.

ByABC News
October 22, 2009, 6:08 AM

JERUSALEM Oct. 22, 2009 — -- Israeli and Iranian nuclear officials have met for the first time since Iran's shah was deposed in 1979 to discuss non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, officials confirmed to ABC News today.

The meeting occurred as Israel - which has a nuclear arsenal - has threatened to destroy Iran's clandestine nuclear program. With that as a backdrop, the meeting might be considered somewhat of a breakthrough.

"This was only a semi-official get together, but the fact the Iranians agreed to sit in the same room with us on this sensitive issue is significant," a senior official of the Israeli government told ABC News.

The meeting was organized by the International Commission on Nuclear Non Proliferation and Disarmament. Both the Arab League and the U.S. sent representatives. It took place in Cairo's Four Seasons Hotel on Sept. 29 and 30.

The Israeli representative was Meirav Zafary-Odiz, director of policy at Israel Atomic Energy Commission, and the Iranians sent Ali Ashgar Soltanieh the Islamic Republic's delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency.