News / Middle East

IAEA Presses Iran Ahead of P5+1 Talks

Satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran, 30 kilometers southeast of Tehran, file photo 2004.
Satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran, 30 kilometers southeast of Tehran, file photo 2004.
Sean Maroney
The U.N. nuclear agency has again urged Iran to give it access to sites, people and documents it seeks as part of its probe into whether Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.  

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency delegation in Vienna, Hermann Nackaerts, told reporters Monday that they are continuing the dialogue with Iran on its controversial nuclear program in "a positive spirit."

"The aim of us today is to reach agreement on an approach to resolve all outstanding issues with Iran - in particular clarification of the possible military dimensions remains our priority," he said.

Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.
Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.
Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.
Western powers have long suspected Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian energy program.  Tehran denies the allegations.

One major issue on the agenda for the two days of talks is the IAEA's lack of access to Iran's Parchin military site near Tehran.

Officials suspect Iran has built a container that could house nuclear explosives tests there, and Western diplomats accuse Tehran of trying to remove incriminating evidence before allowing U.N. inspectors inside the facility.  Iran has dismissed the allegations as being "childish" and "ridiculous."

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany are following the Vienna meeting closely, ahead of their talks next week with Iranian officials in Baghdad.  The so-called P5+1 countries, which also include the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, are seeking to assess the possible military capability of Iran's nuclear sites.

Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies tells VOA that he expects Iran to continue stonewalling the IAEA, which he says could "cast a pall" over the Baghdad meeting. "Iran will demonstrate by its attitude in Vienna whether or not it is in a compromising position.  Even if Iran was willing to make some concessions to the IAEA, I expect that they will try to drag it out and try to get some benefits for it when they talk to their negotiating partners in Baghdad," he said.

And if that is the case, Fitzpatrick says there is reason to hope that some sort of interim agreement might emerge from Baghdad that could "at least lower the [political] temperature." "It's not going to produce a solution to the problems, but maybe Iran will be willing to take enough steps to reduce the feeling that they are rushing to be able to produce nuclear weapons as soon as possible," he said.

He says this could alleviate the "great pressure" Iran has been feeling under multiple rounds of international sanctions.

On Monday, The Washington Post newspaper quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying Iran has been routinely switching off satellite tracking systems on its sea-bound oil tankers since early April in an effort to circumvent sanctions.  The tactics are only modestly effective in hiding the massive tankers.  Iran relies on oil exports for the majority of its foreign currency earnings.

The newspaper reports that the International Energy Agency is closely watching the situation, which if true, also would be a violation of maritime law.  

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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: dipper from: ny
May 15, 2012 2:05 PM
got to hope the changed israeli coalition leads to some more sensible diplomacy.

by: nwcafesurfer
May 14, 2012 10:10 PM
Right, wrong, or indifferent; It’s a fact; if Israel didn't have their nukes (provided by us in the late 60's) they wouldn't be a country now & we would have a chapter in our history books titled “The Second Holocaust” Arab countries like Iran refuse to acknowledge Israel as a country.
Tell you what, if the roles were swapped and Iran had nukes, and Israel didn’t (or was currently developing them). Who’s to say Iran wouldn’t have dropped one by now? Or perhaps “held” a nuke over their head & run them out of their country.

by: D from: Buena Park
May 14, 2012 6:55 PM
If you are terrorist country or extremist views, than you can not join the nuclear club. Isreal does not talk about removing Iran from the face of the Earth.

by: Kevin from: London
May 14, 2012 6:46 PM
How Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons (1975)
From one apartheid government to another.

by: kpitikos from: Las Vegas nv usa
May 14, 2012 6:15 PM
If Iranians Let the inspectors go in the military facilities fiftee minutes after they leave they notified the Zoinist state and USA what is there and where. They did that few months a go the confidedial report wsa in the internet ten minutes later..
The only reason the USA want to send the inspectors to go ther is just to tell the Israelis where are all the military equipment and what .
This is the reson they ask to go there. The Iranians they do not have to let the inspectors in the military facilities it is in the by LAWS of the IAEA and the only reason is now just to find all the defences of the IRANIANS SO they will tell the ZIONIST KILLERS WHAT AND WHERE TO ATTACT

by: Ernest from: USA
May 14, 2012 6:13 PM
Israel is our only true ally in the middle east. We trade information with them to help keep track of terrorists who want to kill our citizens, as they did on 9/11. Our Constitution is based on many Judeo/Christian laws. Our moral code is founded on their principles. Of course we should defend them. And help them. They (Israel) are more like us,(USA) than most people realize. We are in this fight together. We must stop radical Islam. Luckily, we have them as boots on the ground alredy in the area. This fight won't be pretty.

by: Bruce from: DC
May 14, 2012 4:44 PM
Iran is most definitely stalling. With US in talks with Afghanistan over future US bases, that would close the last remaining border effectively sealing Iran off on all sides with US military presence. To protect itself from this, and to ensure its survival, the only avenue has ever been the Nuclear Weapon route. A lesson Iran has learned well from the way in which the US has rewarded Pakistan and North Korea, after they got them. To neutralize Israel from ever attacking Iran to-boot, would be nothing short of a bonus in the eyes of Tehran, or rather, Qom. Check to take the US' queen, Mate Israel's king. The only choice is to lose so you can start another game, or upset the board.

by: Zhuangmin from: Shijiazhuang Hebei China
May 14, 2012 3:03 PM
Zhuangmin wants to challenge all American.Zhuangmin wants to be the democracy teacher of modern American.The reason is that the Chinese democracy activists ,who the United States of America supports,are the barriers that affects Chinese to have pragmatic and rational democracy.Are there any Americans dare to challenge the eight programme of Zhuangmin thought?

by: Gab to Beancube
May 14, 2012 2:47 PM
Israel has had nuclear capability for almost forty years. They have proven to be a good steward of this technology having never used or threatened to use it. What is this sudden crisis that you speak of? The banner of Islam flies over 99.9% of the Middle East land mass. There are people like John who want it to be 100%. The end game is obvious as Israel has no oil.

by: Gab to Beancube and John
May 14, 2012 2:37 PM
FYI, There are twenty-eight other conflicts and border wars in the world today involving repressive Islamic regimes. Muslims are at odds with just about everybody- Muslim Shiites against Sunnis in Pakistan, Muslims against Hindus in India, Muslims against Christians in Nigeria, Muslims against Buddhists in Thailand, Muslims against Copts in Egypt, Muslims against Jews in Israel, Muslims against Christians the Philippines, Aceh (Indonesia), Kosovo (Serbia), Muslims against Maronites in Lebanon, Muslims against Hindus in Bangladesh, Muslims against Russian Orthodox, Muslims against Greek Cypriots, Muslims against non-Arab minorities in the Sudan, Muslims against Zoroastrians and Baha'i in Iran......
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