Iran's IAEA representative declares progress in nuclear talks

# 19 January 2013 02:18 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said here Friday that the recent talks between his country and the nuclear watchdog made some progress despite the lack of agreement, local media reported, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Ali-Asghar Soltanieh said though the IAEA and Iran did not reach an agreement or sign any document in the two-day talks which concluded here on Thursday, the talks were a step forward, semi- official ISNA news agency reported.

Iran and the West are locked in a bitter dispute over the former's nuclear ambitions. The west accuses Tehran of developing nuclear weapon under the cover of peaceful nuclear program, a charge Iran has consistently denied.

During the "serious and intensive" talks, some differences of views on Iran's nuclear issue were solved and some were not, so Iran announced readiness for the talks to continue for another day, Soltanieh was quoted as saying on Friday.

Iran is politically determined to remove the ambiguities over the country's nuclear issue, and to this end there should be a framework for cooperation, he said, adding that Iran will show its goodwill in this regard to the world's public opinion, said the Iranian official.

He argued that reaching a conclusion and "a structured approach " to resolving the remaining issues of Iran's nuclear activities would be feasible in case the IAEA also includes Iran's considerations and phrases in the final document of probable agreement.

Iran has insisted that its rights to peaceful nuclear activities, and above all, the right to uranium enrichment program should be recognized by the IAEA and world powers.

Also, upon arrival in Vienna on Friday, UN nuclear inspectors said the IAEA has failed to reach an agreement with Iranian authorities on the investigation of the latter's disputed nuclear program.

"Differences remain, so we could not finalize the structured approach," Herman Nackaerts, the IAEA's deputy director general for safeguards, told Xinhua at the Vienna airport, adding that IAEA inspectors were still not allowed to visit the Parchin military site.

On Tuesday, Nackaerts had said, before leaving Vienna to Tehran, that "We are aiming to finalize the structured approach to resolving the outstanding issues on the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program" and "We hope that we will be allowed to go to Parchin."

On Friday, Soltanieh denied that visiting Parchin was on the schedule of the recent UN inspectors' visit to Tehran,

Besides, "The IAEA cannot enter the sector which may threaten our national security," Soltanieh said, referring to Nackaerts' remarks that the IAEA hoped its delegation to be allowed to go to Iran's Parchin military site, which is suspected by the Western powers of conducting bomb related experiment.

Last week, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano expressed his concern over the prospect of the structured approach, saying he was "not necessarily optimistic."

The failure in signing any agreement between the IAEA and Iran will dim the prospect of resumption of a new round of negotiations between Iran and P5+1 countries, namely Britain, China, France, Russia, U.S. plus Germany, which had already been announced to resume soon. The observers believe that the P5+1 will wait until the launch of the next meeting between the Islamic republic and the IAEA slated for Feb. 12 in Tehran.