Follow-Up IAEA Talks  on Roadmap Late Sept.

Follow-Up IAEA Talks on Roadmap Late Sept.

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which on Wednesday concluded two days of intense meetings to discuss the roadmap agreement, will resume talks in about a week.

Pursuant to the agreement, Iran signed with the UN nuclear watchdog to resolve pending issues alongside the July 14 nuclear deal with major powers it provided data and documents on its nuclear past to the IAEA on Aug. 15.   

Iran cannot receive sanctions relief under the nuclear deal in return for temporary limits on its nuclear program until the IAEA is satisfied it has answered outstanding questions about what it calls "possible military dimensions" of Tehran's nuclear work.

Tehran has consistently denied there may have been a military side to its nuclear program, insisting that it is solely for peaceful purposes.

The UN agency later said it had sent Iran questions on September 8 to clarify ambiguities in the submitted data and to this end, the two sides agreed to hold the recent talks.

The roadmap requires the agency to submit its final report assessing Iran's nuclear past and present to the board of governors by Dec. 15.

"Iran and the agency's expert teams discussed IAEA's questions," the envoy to the UN body, Reza Najafi, told reporters after the talks, IRNA reported.

IAEA Deputy Director General Tero Varjoranta, who headed the agency's delegation, said, "The expert meetings will resume late this month."

***Obstacle to Nuke-Free Mideast

Elsewhere, Najafi denounced Israel as the major barrier to the establishment of a nuke-free Middle East, urging the international community to pressure Tel Aviv to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In his address to the 59th session of the IAEA's General Conference in Vienna on Thursday, Najafi said Israel's "prohibited nuclear activity has seriously threatened regional peace and security and endangers the non-proliferation regime."
He voiced concern and regret that "this non-party to the NPT which continues to run its illegal underground nuclear military program, supported by its allies, has not even declared its intention to accede to the treaty and abandon its weapons of mass destruction program."

"The Israeli regime, confident of the political and military support of certain UN Security Council permanent members, has neither acceded to the NPT, nor placed its secretive underground nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards."

The ambassador noted that the goal of creating a region free of nuclear weapons would not be achieved unless the international community exerts "sustained pressure on the Israeli regime to compel it to accede, promptly and unconditionally… to the NPT and to place all of its underground nuclear activities and installations under the IAEA safeguards."


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