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.
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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid