News / Middle East

    West Prods Iran to Speed Up Cooperation with IAEA Inquiry

    Outside view of the UN building where the IAEA board of governors meeting takes place at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, June 4, 2014.
    Outside view of the UN building where the IAEA board of governors meeting takes place at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, June 4, 2014.
    Reuters
    Iran faced Western pressure on Wednesday to speed up its promised cooperation with a long-stalled U.N. nuclear watchdog investigation into suspected atomic bomb research by Tehran, something the Islamic state denies.
     
    The United States, the European Union and others welcomed at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency signs that Iran has begun engaging with the IAEA inquiry but they also made clear Tehran must do much more to fully address their concerns.
     
    U.S. officials say it is vital for Iran to resolve the IAEA's questions if parallel negotiations between Tehran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia on  long-term settlement are to succeed. Those talks aim to set verifiable, civilian limits to Iran's nuclear activity and end punitive international sanctions imposed on Tehran.
     
    The IAEA has long been investigating suspicions that Iran may have coordinated efforts to process uranium, test explosives and revamp a ballistic missile cone in a way suitable for a nuclear warhead. Iran says the allegations are false but has offered to help clarify them since pragmatist Hassan Rouhani took office as Iranian president last year.
     
    The EU - which groups three of the six powers seeking to negotiate a settlement to a decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear program - noted that “some” progress had been made in the separate talks between Iran and the IAEA.
     
    But, the 28-nation bloc added in a statement to a quarterly meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation governing board, “We call on Iran to provide all the relevant information to the agency, to address fully the substance of all of the agency's concerns and to accelerate its cooperation with the agency.”
     
    Canada's ambassador to the Vienna-based IAEA put it more bluntly, saying Iran was using a kind of “salami-slicing way”  in its dealings with the U.N. watchdog.
     
    “We are definitely of the view that Iran is moving too slowly to address these long-standing questions. They do need to move faster,” Mark Bailey told Reuters.
     
    Adding to the pressure, Group of Seven leaders meeting in Brussels this week are to call on Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA and “resolve all outstanding issues”, according to a draft statement read to Reuters by an EU diplomat.
     
    Tehran says its uranium enrichment program is a peaceful energy project whereas the West fears it is covertly oriented to developing a nuclear weapons capability. Western diplomats have long accused Tehran of stonewalling the IAEA's investigation.
     
    U.S. wants 'first step' by Iran
     
    Tehran's talks with the IAEA and with the big powers are complementary as both focus on suspicions it may have secretly sought the means and expertise to assemble nuclear weapons.
     
    After years of rising tension with the West - and fears of a new Middle East war erupting - last June's election of Rouhani paved the way for a dramatic thaw in relations. However, the sides remain far apart on what a final nuclear agreement should look like, with a self-imposed July 20 deadline approaching.
     
    The IAEA inquiry into what it calls the possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program focuses on whether the country has worked on designing a nuclear warhead.
     
    IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said this week that Iran had started to engage substantively with the U.N. agency's investigation, but that more was needed.
     
    The U.S. envoy to the IAEA said a resolution of the issues related to its investigation was critical and he urged Tehran to “further intensify its engagement” with the U.N. agency.
     
    “Only with Iran's complete cooperation...would the agency be in a position to reach a conclusion regarding whether Iran's nuclear program is exclusively peaceful,” Joseph Macmanus said.
     
    Last month, Iran gave the U.N. watchdog information it had requested about one of the issues covered by the IAEA's inquiry. Exploding Bridge Wire (EBW) detonators can be used, among other things, to set off an atomic explosive device. Iran also agreed to address two other areas of the investigation by Aug. 25.
     
    Western capitals, aware of past failures to get Iran to cooperate with the IAEA, regard Iran's increased readiness to cooperate as positive but are likely to remain skeptical until it has fully addressed all allegations of illicit atomic work.
     
    “Such engagement is welcome - if long overdue,” Macmanus told the IAEA board said about Iran's provision of EBW information to the agency, adding this was “only a first step”.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora