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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora