The latest round of talks between Iran and the UN’s nuclear watchdog have ended without progress. Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency will now pause “to reflect” on the situation:
“We will work hard now to try and resolve the remaining differences, but time is needed to reflect on a way forward,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief inspector Herman Nackaerts said today at Vienna International Airport after returning from a one-day meeting in Tehran. The IAEA, which had announced new dates for discussions after its last two rounds of talks, has “unwavering” commitment to the process, he said.
As of now no date has been set for further negotiations between Tehran and the organization.
The current round of meetings was aimed at securing IAEA access to facilities in which Iran may have conducted work relevant to the development of nuclear weapons, including and especially Iran’s military facility at Parchin. It is widely believed that Iranian scientists conducted work related to nuclear warheads at the facility. The IAEA has pushed for access to Parchin over a series of recent talks, but has been rebuffed.
The next round of negotiations related to Iran’s nuclear program is scheduled for February 26 in Kazakhstan. Iran will sit opposite the P5+1 group of world leaders which have been urging Tehran to increase transparency around its nuclear activities.
American, European, and United Nations officials have become increasingly vocal in their concerns that Iran is using negotiations to stall for time as it moves closer toward acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran maintains that its atomic program is for peaceful purposes. IAEA reports have been skeptical of those assurances, with a 2011 report noting that the watchdog group “was unable to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran was in peaceful activities.”
[Photo: Sarajevo-x / Wiki Commons]