News / Middle East

IAEA Head Expects Progress by Deadline in Iran Nuclear Inquiry

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano talks to the media as he arrives at Vienna's airport, Austria, Aug. 18, 2014.
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano talks to the media as he arrives at Vienna's airport, Austria, Aug. 18, 2014.
Reuters

The United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Monday Iran had begun implementing transparency measures ahead of an August 25 deadline, as part of a long-running investigation into suspected atomic bomb research by Tehran.

Yukiya Amano, speaking at Vienna airport after talks with  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Sunday, said he expected progress by Monday over the measures it agreed three months ago.

The steps include information about two issues that are part of the U.N. nuclear agency's long-stalled inquiry into what it calls the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran says is entirely peaceful.

Amano's comments suggested some increased optimism after his meetings in the Iranian capital, but it remained unclear whether Iran would meet the target date for all of its commitments. Diplomatic sources last month said the U.N. nuclear watchdog was worried about slow headway in the Iran nuclear probe.

The investigation into Iran's activities is closely tied to Tehran's negotiations with six world powers aimed at ending a decade-old standoff over its atomic activities and dispelling fears of a new Middle East war.

“The implementation of these five measures started,” Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told reporters upon his return from the Iranian capital, without elaborating on what Iran was undertaking.

“We have started and that is important and I expect that progress will be made over the next week,” said Amano, after securing what he called on Sunday a firm Iranian commitment to cooperate with the IAEA's investigation.

Iran denies its program has any military objectives, but it has promised since Rouhani, a pragmatist, took office in mid-2013 to work with the IAEA to clarify its concerns.

Western officials say it is central for Iran to address the suspicions for the chances of a successful outcome of the parallel talks on a diplomatic solution between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia.

Detonator development

With major gaps remaining over the permissible future scope of Iran's uranium enrichment program - activity which can have both civilian and military uses - the talks between Iran and the six major states were last month extended until November 24.

Under a phased Iran-IAEA transparency agreement reached in November - an attempt to jumpstart the investigation - Iran agreed in May to carry out the five steps by late August.

But diplomatic sources said in July that the IAEA was concerned about Iran's lack of engagement with the investigation. They said there was still time for Iran to implement the agreed measures, noting that it had occasionally waited until the last minute to make concessions in the past.

After years of what the West saw as Iranian stonewalling, Iran as a first step in May gave the IAEA information it had requested about Tehran's reasons for developing exploding bridge wire detonators. These can be used to set off an atomic explosive device but Iran says they are for civilian use.

Amano said the IAEA had received “further clarification” on this matter during the visit to Tehran, but gave no details.

The two issues in the inquiry that Iran agreed to address by late August concern alleged experiments on explosives that could be used for an atomic device and studies related to calculating nuclear explosive yields.

They were among 12 specific areas listed in an IAEA report issued in 2011 with a trove of intelligence indicating a concerted weapons program that was halted in 2003 - when Iran came under increased international pressure. The intelligence also suggested some activities may later have resumed.

Amano made clear his view that Iran should step up its cooperation with the IAEA investigation. “Certainly, we are of  the view that we need to accelerate,” he said. 

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid