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

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

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.
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