News / Middle East

UN Watchdog, Iran Fail to Make Progress on Nuclear Issue

Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency  ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh addresses a news conference during a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna, June 6, 2012.
Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh addresses a news conference during a meeting at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna, June 6, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Selah Hennessy
LONDON - Representatives from the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog and Iran hit an impasse Friday in talks on providing inspectors possible access to a military site that is key to Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

"There has been no progress," the International Atomic Energy Agency's chief inspector Herman Nackaerts told journalists in Vienna. "This is disappointing."

No date was set for another meeting, Nackaerts said.

Map of Iran's nuclear sitesMap of Iran's nuclear sites
Six world powers were closely monitoring the talks to see if Tehran was ready to make concessions before a meeting in Moscow later this month over disputes concerning Iran's controversial nuclear program.

The aim of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been to gain greater access to the disputed military site, known as Parchin.

Satellite images obtained by a U.S. research organization last week suggest Iran may be trying to wipe traces of nuclear weapon testing from the site. The U.N. is aware of the images and wants inspectors to be allowed in.

Likely setback

There have recently been reports of some progress on the access issue. But from the tone of Nackaerts' comments, Friday's news is likely to be seen as a significant setback.

The IAEA’s chief, Yukiya Amano, visited Iran last month and returned from talks saying a deal would soon be made. But little was achieved during a meeting in Baghdad with Iran and world powers that came the same week.

The United States, a number of European countries, and Israel suspect Iran of working to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies this; it says it’s developing civilian nuclear power.

Anthony Skinner, a Middle East expert with the Britain-based risk analyst group Maplecroft, said he doubts ultimately that negotiations will produce results. Echoing a view from some Western nations and Israel, he says Iran is stalling.

"I think the Iranians calculate that they can make incremental steps moving forward and back-peddling when it is convenient for them and stalling," Skinner said. "All this is a strategy to ensure that they can move ahead with their nuclear program, buy themselves time."

Site key

The U.N. watchdog believes explosives tests have taken place at Parchin that could be related to the development of nuclear bombs.

Richard Dalton served as ambassador to Iran and is now an associate fellow at the London-based research group Chatham House. He said it's vital that negotiations with Iran succeed.

To makes its case, Dalton said Iran will need to make transparent what it's done in the past to show the international community that it is not aiming to develop weapons.

Dalton said he doesn’t believe Iran is working to develop nuclear weapons and that the country is entering negotiations in good faith.

"I believe that Iran recognizes that it will not have sensible, productive relations with the outside world unless it can deal seriously with these allegations," Dalton said.

Dalton added that negotiations have stalled in the past because of suspicions on both sides, including an undertone of covert action Iran says has been taken by Israel and the U.S.

"Iran is a difficult negotiating partner but then it regards its negotiating partners as difficult from its point of view and this is a very sensitive matter," Dalton explained. "Because there has been so much bad blood."

Without progress on the issue, a European Union oil embargo will be enforced on July 1, joining a host of international sanctions against Tehran.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: USA
June 09, 2012 9:34 AM
Can someone be told to act responsibly when they have nothing to act responsibly about?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid