News / Middle East

Iran Expects 'Progress' in UN Nuclear Talks, West Skeptical

Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh attends a board of governors meeting at the UN headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 4, 2013.
Iran's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh attends a board of governors meeting at the UN headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 4, 2013.
Reuters
— Iran expects progress will be made in talks this week with the United Nations' atomic agency, Tehran's nuclear envoy said on Monday, but Western diplomats held out little hope of an end to the deadlock.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been trying for more than a year to coax Iran into letting it resume a stalled investigation into suspected atomic bomb research by Tehran, which denies any aims to make nuclear weapons.

Wednesday's talks in Vienna will be the 10th round of negotiations between the two sides since early 2012, so far without an agreement that would give the IAEA the access to sites, officials and documents it says it needs for its inquiry.

"We have the meeting with the expectation of progress of course,'' Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, told Reuters. "We are serious in these talks.''

But a Western diplomat, also based in the Austrian capital, said he saw "no reason at all for optimism'' in view of a series of failed meetings in the last 17 months. Other envoys also said they did not expect any breakthrough.

In May one year ago, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said after visiting Tehran that he expected to sign a deal with Iran soon to unblock the inquiry, but that hope was later dashed.

Western officials accuse Iran of stonewalling the IAEA, and of seeking to restrict the ability of U.N. inspectors to carry out their investigation the way they want.

Iran says the demands for access go beyond its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and that the allegations against it are based on forged intelligence.

IAEA wants base access

The IAEA-Iran talks are separate from, but still closely linked to, broader diplomatic negotiations between Tehran and six world powers aimed at resolving the decade-old dispute peacefully and prevent a new Middle East war.

Israel and the United States have warned of possible military action against Iran if diplomacy and sanctions fail to make it curb its nuclear programme.

Tehran says the programme is a purely peaceful project to generate electricity and that it is Israel, widely believed to hold the Middle East's only atomic arsenal, that threatens peace and stability in the region.

Iran and the six powers - the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China - failed to break the diplomatic impasse in their last meeting, held in early April in Kazakhstan.

Also on Wednesday, negotiators from the European Union and Iran will meet in Istanbul to discuss these diplomatic efforts, although analysts do not expect any substantive negotiations before Iran's presidential election on June 14.

Some diplomats say Iran is merely using the talks with the IAEA for leverage in the separate negotiations with world powers which, unlike the IAEA, have the power to ease sanctions that are hurting its oil-dependent economy.

The IAEA's immediate priority is to visit the Parchin military base. It suspects explosives tests relevant to nuclear weapons may have taken place there, perhaps a decade ago, and then been concealed. Tehran denies the accusation.

Iran says it must first agree with the IAEA on how the investigation should be carried out before allowing such access.

"Nothing will happen until this framework is negotiated and agreed upon,'' Soltanieh said.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Goulam Ozol from: Turkey
May 14, 2013 10:48 AM
this "UN Nuclear Talks" has degenerated into such a laughing farce... I trust Israel, they know when the time comes to crush the hell out of the Iranians.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid