IAEA Says There’s ‘No Progress’ After Talks with Iran

June 8, 2012  

The UN’s nuclear watchdog and Iran failed on Friday to agree a deal allowing greater access to Tehran’s contested nuclear program.

“There has been no progress,” IAEA chief inspector Herman Nackaerts was quoted by AFP as having announced late Friday, after all-day talks with Iran’s envoy to the agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh and IAEA deputy director general Rafael Grossi.

“This is disappointing,” Nackaerts said, reading out a prepared statement at a joint briefing with the Iranian ambassador.

The International Atomic Energy Agency had come to the meeting “in a constructive spirit and with the desire and intention of finalizing the paper,” but Iran had imposed new conditions on a deal, Nackaerts said.

He added that no date for a new meeting between the two sides has been said.

The agency has been seeking a deal with Iran that would allow greater access to sites, people and documents tied to Tehran’s nuclear program.

Soltanieh appealed Friday for “time and patience”, AFP reported, and vowed that Iran was “ready to remove all ambiguities and prove to the world that our activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes.”

He said, “Let Iran and the IAEA do their work,” adding that “there is no obstacle” to an accord being struck at a later date.

The planned accord would include agency access to the Parchin military base near Tehran, where the IAEA believes suspicious explosives testing was carried out before 2003 and possibly after that.

New satellite imagery has indicated “extensive activities” at the base, which “could hamper the agency’s ability to undertake effective verification” of the site, the IAEA said in a report last month.

Soltanieh dismissed this as politicization by Western countries.

“Whoever raises the issue of Parchin or other sites which is going to be dealt with in this framework… is just creating a negative environment, and this is not advisable and this is not conducive,” he was quoted by AFP as having told journalists.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that Tehran has no intention of building nuclear weapons – but fear is not the reason.

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