Sat, June 09, 2012
World > Middle East

No progress in IAEA-Iran nuclear talks

2012-06-09 06:57:56 GMT2012-06-09 14:57:56(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

VIENNA, June 9 (Xinhua) -- The latest round of nuclear talks between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran ended Friday, again with no progress.

"There has been no progress," Herman Nackaerts, IAEA deputy director general for safeguards, said after talks here with Ali-Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the UN nuclear watchdog.

The outcome was disappointing, said Nackaerts.

One focal issue for the IAEA has been the agency's demand for access to the Parchin military site southeast of Tehran.

The IAEA has been pressing Iran for a deal that would allow its inspectors immediate access to the site, as media said the IAEA has received reports that Iran had tested explosives which could be used to set off a nuclear charge.

Iran denied such reports, and insisted that access to Parchin would only be granted if Iran and the IAEA agree on certain conditions and steps.

"We are ready to remove all ambiguities and prove to the world that our activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes and none of these allegations (of seeking a bomb) are true," Soltanieh said.

"But we need time and patience and a quiet environment (for talks)," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iran accused the IAEA of conducting secretive intelligence activities.

The accusations were made by Soltanieh on the sidelines of the IAEA board of governors' conference in Vienna. The envoy accused the IAEA of using secretive means to obtain information on Iranian facilities.

Soltanieh criticized in particular Western officials and media for speculation about a possible secret nuclear weapon program.

Iran's accusations came as Yukiya Amano, head of the IAEA, said during the board meeting that satellite images indicate that buildings were being demolished and soil removed at Parchin.

"Our agency has very highly developed instruments that are able to pick up tiny atomic particles. We have seen activity in Parchin recently, and have concerns that these could hinder our inspections," he said.

Amano also told the board meeting that he had asked Iran to sign and implement a framework agreement on steps to remove concerns over controversial aspects of the country's nuclear program as soon as possible and to provide early access to the Parchin site.

Meanwhile, Soltanieh said a new chapter has begun in Iran-IAEA cooperation. But he warned against politicizing technical issues.

"Certain elements are trying to distort the constructive atmosphere of cooperation between Iran and the agency through political controversy," he said, in a clear reference to Iran's Western foes.

Iran also held nuclear talks on May 23-24 with the six major world powers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States in Baghdad.

During the Baghdad talks, the six powers tabled a package of incentives to Iran in a bid to settle the issue, while Iran announced its readiness for further discussion of the issue of 20-percent enrichment of uranium.

The next round of talks between Iran and the six countries is scheduled for June 18 in Moscow.


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