US Urges Engagement in IAEA Probe

US Urges Engagement in IAEA Probe        US Urges Engagement in IAEA Probe

The US Department of State called for Tehran's full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency's inquiry into its past nuclear activities.         

"We continue to call on Iran to cooperate fully and without delay with the IAEA to resolve all the outstanding issues, in particular those that give rise to concerns about possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program," Jeff Rathke, director of the State Department's press office, said in a regular press briefing on Friday in reference to the UN nuclear agency's recent report on Iran which said the Islamic Republic had provided some information about one of two open items in the investigation into what the IAEA calls possible military dimensions to Tehran's nuclear program.

Iran denies its nuclear work may have any military objectives, saying the program is solely for peaceful applications such as electricity generation.       

"This is, of course, one of the issues that we are working to resolve in the nuclear negotiations, so it's certainly something we take seriously."  

On his expectations of the new round of nuclear talks between Iran, the US and the EU, which started in Geneva on Saturday, he said, "We are in the last month, or soon to be in the last month before the June 30 deadline, so of course this is an opportunity for the Secretary (of State John Kerry), along with Secretary (of Energy Ernest) Moniz, to take stock of where things stand as we are working to finalize the technical details and reach a comprehensive deal."

He added, "I'm not going to preview the substance of their discussion, but of course this is an important part – the senior level, political level engagement – to keep the talks moving forward. We've had expert-level and political director-level discussions (referring to the recent talks in Vienna)."

Asked whether he saw any breakthroughs coming out of the Geneva meeting, he noted, "I think I'll refrain from a prediction about the pace. We believe it's possible to achieve a comprehensive deal by the end of June, and Secretary Kerry is engaging with Foreign Minister (Mohammad Javad) Zarif to help move things forward to that end."