VIENNA: The chief UN atomic inspector said yesterday that talks with Iran had failed again to reach a deal on enhanced inspections of Tehran’s nuclear program, two weeks before a major meeting with world powers.
“We had discussions on the structured approach document but could not finalize the document,” Herman Nackaerts of the International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters at Vienna airport after returning from Tehran.
“Our commitment to continued dialogue is unwavering. We will work hard now to resolve the remaining differences but time is needed to reflect on the way forward,” he said.
“We haven’t agreed yet on a date for the next meeting.”
He refused to comment on whether the two sides had made any progress toward a deal, but Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, on Wednesday was characteristically more upbeat.
“Some differences were resolved and agreement on some issues in the modality was reached,” Soltanieh was quoted Wednesday by the Iranian news agency ISNA as saying.
The meeting was the latest in a string of attempts by the IAEA to press Iran to grant access to sites, scientists and documents that the agency believes may have been part of a covert nuclear weapons drive.
Iran says that the IAEA’s allegations are based on flawed Western and Israeli intelligence — which it has not been allowed to see — and says it has never sought to develop the bomb.