News / Middle East

UN Nuclear Inspectors Hope to End Deadlock With Iran

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief nuclear inspector Herman Nackaerts arrives for a meeting about Tehran's disputed nuclear program at the Iranian embassy in Vienna on September 27, 2013.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief nuclear inspector Herman Nackaerts arrives for a meeting about Tehran's disputed nuclear program at the Iranian embassy in Vienna on September 27, 2013.
Reuters
Iran's apparent new readiness to address international concerns about its atomic ambitions will be tested in talks with U.N. inspectors on Monday, with diplomats hoping for progress such as on access to a sensitive military site.
 
However, the diplomats say Iran will probably agree to cooperate fully with an investigation by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) only if a broader deal is reached in separate negotiations with six world powers.
 
New President Hassan Rouhani has raised hopes of an end to international deadlock over the nuclear program by promising to engage with the West, in return for an easing of sanctions that are damaging the Iranian economy.
 
The Vienna-based IAEA has been investigating accusations for several years that Iran may have coordinated efforts to process uranium, test explosives and revamp a missile cone in a way suitable for a nuclear warhead.
 
Iran says such claims are baseless and forged, and a series of meetings in Vienna between Tehran officials and the IAEA inspectors since early 2012 have been fruitless.
 
Expectations for Monday's round are higher and the diplomats believe Iran may soon offer some concessions, perhaps by allowing the inspectors to visit its Parchin military base southeast of Tehran - long a priority for the IAEA.
 
“I think both sides are looking to see whether they can be a bit more creative,” one Western envoy said. Another diplomat said Iran would need to come up with “something positive.”
 
The IAEA believes nuclear-related explosives tests took place at Parchin, possibly a decade ago, and wants the inspectors to interview officials and study documents to shed light on what happened there.
 
It has acknowledged, however, that it may no longer unearth anything at Parchin due to suspected Iranian efforts to remove any incriminating nuclear-linked traces there.
 
Tehran denies the accusations and says it will allow visits to Parchin once the two sides have reached an agreement on how the investigation should be carried out.
 
Any overall deal with the IAEA is likely to depend on progress at the separate talks in Geneva between Iran and the six powers - the United States, France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia, which want Tehran to curb nuclear work that can have both civilian and military uses.
 
These negotiations resumed on a hopeful note last week and a further round is due on Nov. 7-8. An Iranian parliamentarian was quoted as saying Iran had halted its higher-grade uranium enrichment, but diplomats in Vienna said they were unaware of any such move. The IAEA declined comment.
 
Eleven unsuccessful meetings
 
The IAEA - tasked with preventing the spread of nuclear weapons in the world - wants access to sites, officials and documents for its stalled investigation into alleged past experiments and research that could help Iran assemble atomic bombs, if it decided to pursue such arms of mass destruction.
 
Eleven meetings between senior IAEA and Iranian officials since January last year have so far failed to produce a framework accord outlining the terms for the investigation.
 
But diplomats briefed on the closed-door discussions said Iran seemed more willing to tackle issues of substance in the last meeting, held in late September.
 
Western experts say Iran must address the IAEA's concerns if it is to build confidence in the outside world that any activity it might have undertaken in the past to acquire a capability to produce nuclear weapons has since ended.
 
“Iran knows that in order to pave a way to a comprehensive solution those questions need to be answered,” said former IAEA chief inspector Olli Heinonen, now at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
 
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful electricity generation and that it will never develop atomic arms.
 
Tehran could make sanctions relief more likely if it would “immediately cooperate with the IAEA on inspections of key sites, including Parchin, and to ensure that past weapons-related experiments have been discontinued”, the Arms Control Association, a U.S. research and advocacy group, said.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Saito Yakagima from: Japan
October 25, 2013 5:46 AM
what is so difficult for me to understand is why Israel spearheads the sanctions on Iran...?? Israel is very unlikely to be threatened by a nuclear Iran (we all know that Israel thermo-nuclear arsenal is comparable to that of the former Soviet Union - in numbers, that is; and in sophistication - far more advanced...)
Here is the problem - the real targets of a nuclear Iran are the Golf Arab States and Saudi Arabia - definitely lets say not friends of Israel... so, why is Israel so upset with Iran??? you see - its like Turkey and Syria - Turkey would have been in deadly peril if Syria developed the nuclear bomb not Israel... so why did Israel destroy Syria nuclear bomb...??? Turkey should have been grateful to Israel - yet - Turkey stabbed Israel in the back... by promoting the cause of Hamas, and now accommodating Al Qaida operations in Syria...
can anyone help me understand...??

by: Dr. H M from: Saudi Arabia
October 24, 2013 8:05 PM
what the "west" doesn't understand is that the Islamic Iranian Government is completely decayed... it is rotten to the core... its dying... by their own brutality and injustice and oppression of the proud people of Iran... the revolting Iranian Ayatullahs only hope is to be sustained somehow by "Western" assistance... if the "west" want to be secure they must act to replace the whole Iranian rotten theocracy.
In Response

by: Mitt moran from: USA
October 24, 2013 10:19 PM
as bad as you think Iran is, Saudi Arabian GOV is 100000000 times more brutal. They are Mad Dogs.

by: Dr. Hans from: Germany
October 24, 2013 10:19 AM
yeah sure... you believe that??? you think the Iranian Islamists will find some moldy fatuwa from some rotting Ayatulla giving up nuclear weapons...?? we all know that only a devastating military strike by Israel on the Iranian nuclear facilities will save Europe from itself... also, do not trust Obama.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs