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.
    x
    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.  

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
    Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on
    Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    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
    beancube,
    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.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/23/israel-south-africa-nuclear-weapons

    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......
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora