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US: Iran Committed to 'Defiance, Delay' with Nuclear Program

Joseph E. Macmanus, Permanent U.S. Representative to the United Nations, waits for the start of the IAEA board of governors meeting at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, March 6, 2013.
The United States has expressed concern about Iran's failure to address international questions about its nuclear program, saying Tehran is committed to "deception, defiance and delay."

Joseph Macmanus, the chief U.S. envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Wednesday at a meeting in Vienna that instead of complying with its obligations, Iran has taken "further provocative actions."

He said Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons cannot be "accepted as normal," and that the country's actions could lead to further isolation and pressure from the international community.

Iran denies it is developing nuclear weapons, and says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said Monday that without more cooperation from Iran, his inspectors cannot conclude that all nuclear material is for peaceful activities. Amano said further negotiations with Iran must "proceed with a sense of urgency."

IAEA inspectors have been trying to gain access to Iran's Parchin military site, which Western nations suspect is related to nuclear weapons development. Iran says it is a conventional military site and has refused to allow an inspection.

Iran and world powers have agreed to hold expert-level talks on March 18 in Istanbul followed by a meeting of top negotiators starting April 5.