News / Middle East

Iran Nuclear Probe Reaches Deadline

FILE - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano addresses a news conference.
FILE - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano addresses a news conference.
Reuters

A deadline for Iran to answer U.N. nuclear watchdog questions about suspected atomic bomb research was reached on Monday without any immediate word on whether Tehran had provided the information.

Western officials have long said Iran must address the U.N. agency's suspicions about its work and that this would be an important boost for parallel diplomatic efforts to end a  decade-old dispute over the country's nuclear program.

Washington and its allies have accused Iran of working to produce an atomic weapons capability, raising fears of a new Middle East war. Iran has dismissed the accusations, saying its work is focused on generating electricity and other peaceful projects.

Diplomats told Reuters last week that the long-running inquiry by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) appeared to be making only slow headway, casting doubt on whether Iran would fully meet the Aug. 25 target date.

They said there was still time for Iran to respond to the questions, noting that it had occasionally waited until the last minute to make concessions in the past. Officials said Tehran might also provide the information a few days late.

There was no immediate comment from Tehran and the IAEA said it would not comment on the issue on Monday. Diplomats say the watchdog may only release details of any Iranian response in its next quarterly report, expected in early September.

The Islamic republic has promised to cooperate with the IAEA since Hassan Rouhani, widely seen as a pragmatist, was elected Iranian president in mid-2013. 

Tehran agreed in May to take five steps by late August, including information on alleged explosives experimentation, and studies related to calculating nuclear explosive yields.

Western diplomats say Iran needs to help clear up the IAEA's suspicions if it wants to reach a broader diplomatic deal in the separate negotiations with the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia. 

Those talks are focused on persuading Iran to curb its atomic activities in exchange for a lifting of sanctions that are hurting its oil-dependent economy.

With major gaps remaining over what will be permitted in Iran's uranium-enrichment program - activity which can have both civilian and military uses - those talks were extended in July until Nov. 24. 

After years of what the West saw as Iranian stonewalling, Iran as a first step in May gave the IAEA information about why it was developing exploding bridge wire detonators, which can be used to set off atomic explosive devices. Iran says they are for civilian use.

The areas that the IAEA wants Iran to address were listed in a report published in the watchdog in 2011 that included 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.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid