IAEA Inquiry Not Stalled

IAEA Inquiry Not Stalled
IAEA Inquiry Not Stalled

Iran has said it will continue its cooperation with the UN nuclear agency’s investigation into its nuclear program.


The ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency also said Tehran will continue addressing concerns about its nuclear work, although the IAEA has said the country missed a deadline last month for providing information about what the agency calls possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear activities, Reuters reported.

Iran denies claims that it may have been seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons and says the program is only meant for peaceful purposes, such as power generation.  

Reza Najafi suggested Iran had not fully implemented five nuclear transparency measures by August 25, as agreed with the IAEA, in part because of the “complexity” of the issues involved.

Iranian and IAEA officials would meet soon again, perhaps by the end of September, he told reporters on Tuesday.

On the implementation of a framework agreement on further cooperation signed by Iran and the IAEA last November, Najafi said, “There is no deadlock. We are sure we can implement that ... We are ready to complete that.”

An IAEA report showed on Friday that Iran had carried out three of the five steps. Iran has announced it is in the process of implementing the two remaining measures.

Iran has increased its cooperation with the IAEA since Hassan Rouhani was elected president last year.

The two issues that have not been fully addressed are alleged experiments on explosives and alleged studies related to calculating nuclear explosive yields.

A lack of progress in the IAEA probe can hinder the talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) aimed at negotiating a resolution to a wider, decade-old dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Western officials say Iran should address the IAEA’s concerns and that some of the sanctions relief Iran is seeking would probably depend on its cooperation with the agency.

*****Probe not an “Endless Process”

Some diplomats suggested the IAEA’s investigation was unlikely to yield a “black-and-white” conclusion.

“I think the chances of us knowing everything are nil,” one diplomat in Vienna, where the IAEA is based, said on Tuesday.

Another diplomat familiar with the Iran file said the inquiry could not go on forever, and at some point it would produce an assessment based on the information it had.

It would then be up to the IAEA board - with members including the United States, Russia and others - to decide on future action, the diplomat said. “This is not an endless process.”

The IAEA report did say other transparency steps implemented by Iran - including access to some sites - had helped inspectors gain a “better understanding” of Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China failed to meet a July target date to work out a comprehensive deal to resolve the nuclear dispute, and now face a new deadline of November 24, with talks due to resume in New York this month.