IAEA not hopeful on Iran progress



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Saturday 12 January 2013

Last update 12 January 2013 12:32 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

TOKYO: The UN nuclear chief yesterday said he was not hopeful of striking a deal with Iran next week that would see Tehran address allegations of past nuclear weapons research and grant access to controversial sites.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the outlook for an agreement between IAEA officials and their Iranian counterparts when they meet on Jan. 6 was “uncertain.”
His remarks came after Iran Wednesday poured water on the UN watchdog’s hopes of securing access to the Parchin military complex where suspected past research into atomic bomb triggers might have been carried out.
Iran said it would not agree to any inspections beyond those of declared nuclear sites required by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
For the past year, the IAEA has been trying to reach agreement with Iran on a “structured approach” — jargon for a deal whereby Iran would grant access to sites, scientists and documents involved in its alleged weaponization efforts.
Foremost among those is the Parchin military base outside Tehran, where the IAEA suspects Iran may have conducted past tests of conventional explosives that could be used to detonate an atomic bomb.
Iran denies seeking or ever having sought nuclear weapons, and rejected the alleged evidence outright in a series of meetings with the IAEA last year.
“Negotiations with Iran are very difficult,” Amano told a press conference. “Will we take a linear path toward an agreement? I am not necessarily optimistic. The outlook is not necessarily bright.”
After a visit to Tehran last month, IAEA chief inspector Herman Nackaerts said he was confident an agreement could be finalized at next Wednesday’s talks and that access to Parchin would be “part of” it.
However, Amano noted, that despite “measured progress” in the December talks, the two parties fell short an agreement.
“The IAEA hopes to resolve Iran’s nuclear problem through dialogue, through diplomatic means,” Amano said.
“However, we cannot say anything about the outlook for certain, if you ask me whether we are optimistic about it.”
Much of the information on the alleged weapons research comes from foreign intelligence agencies, including from arch foe Israel, the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear-armed state, which has threatened to bomb Iran.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast had hinted that access might be granted to Parchin, but only once a “comprehensive agreement” with the watchdog has been reached.

Next Wednesday’s meeting comes ahead of the first talks since June between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, China, Russia, Britain and France — and Germany, possibly later this month.
These efforts are focused less on the past and more on Iran’s current activities, in particular Tehran’s capacity to enrich uranium to fissile purities of 20 percent.
Such material can be used for peaceful purposes — Iran says it is for producing nuclear medicines for diagnosis of cancers and other diseases — but also when further enriched to 90-percent in the fissile core of a nuclear weapon.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al Hamzi, director general of prisons, has sacked Brig. Ahmad Al Shahrani, director of Jeddah prisons, after the case of a video clip about prisoners taking heroin went viral, according to local media.Quoting informed source...
RIYADH: Plans are underway to shift the labor dispute commission in the Ministry of Labor to the Ministry of Justice. Related discussions were held here Thursday between Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani and Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani.The disc...
JEDDAH: Drifting has taken a heavy toll of young men who spent their time and energy in the pursuit of this dangerous game for lack of family awareness and guidance.Observers said that the last decade witnessed a dramatic increase in traffic accident...
RIYADH: A mass brawl between migrant workers at a company along Al-Thumama Road broke out in Riyadh on Thursday, causing the death of one worker and the burning of two police vehicles.A Riyadh police source said authorities received a report on Thurs...
JEDDAH: Thousands of expatriates living in Jeddah, who are non-Arabic speakers, were excited about the monthlong 36th Jeddah Festival.The Jeddah and summer festivals this year had a number of theatrical events, entertainment programs, fireworks, arti...
MADINAH: In a tragic Madinah incident, two children died and a woman was injured in a fire which broke out in a house.Capt. Naif bin Mohammad Al-Juhani, spokesman for Civil Defense, said the control room received information about the fire incident i...
JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco said it has financed building 63,000 houses for Saudis through the citizen house owning program implemented by the company. The company said it has granted 1,037 loans to Saudis to build new houses in 2014, stressing that this pr...
RIYADH: A special team of officials from the Ministry of Health, led by Deputy Minister Hamad Aldhwilaa, visited hospitals in the southern border area to ensure that services are available to serve patients in the Asir, Jazan and Najran regions.On ar...
DAMMAM: On April 30 1935, drilling started on test well No. 1 in Dammam. After seven months, only gas was found with traces of oil at a depth of 700 meters. So it had to be plugged. Drilling began on Dammam well No. 2 on Feb. 8, 1936, and started pro...
JEDDAH: A team of doctors at King Abdul Aziz Hospital carried out emergency life-saving surgery on a Kazakh pilgrim who was suffering from a rare disease, on the night of Eid Al-Fitr, according to a website.The 17-year-old Kazakh pilgrim was brought...
JEDDAH: Members of sector committees affiliated with the Council of Saudi Chambers have tried to reach a settlement with the Ministry of Labor that would allow laborers to work on their projects during the day.The attempt was made based on an agreeme...
JEDDAH: The increase in school fees has caused parents to remove their children from private schools and enroll them in public schools in Madinah.With the approaching new school year, many parents were surprised to find that school fees were increase...
RIYADH: The size of the tourism industry has crossed the SR100-million mark with around 130 organizations in the field and the revenues generated through festivals are approximately SR11 billion annually, experts have said. The figures have been prov...
JEDDAH: A total of 105 pay-and-park areas have been opened in the city, including Jeddah historical district, downtown market place, Bab Makkah, Al Andalus Street and Palestine Street.Hani Ahmad Abdullah, media spokesperson for Jeddah Municipality, s...
RIYADH: Moroccan Ambassador Abdussalam Baraka has praised “excellent” trade and bilateral relations between his country and Saudi Arabia and expected the ties to grow further.Speaking on the occasion of Morocco’s National Day on Thursday night, the e...

Stay Connected

Facebook