Iran hosts UN agency for dialogue tomorrow



Agence France Presse

Published — Tuesday 15 January 2013

Last update 15 January 2013 2:34 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

VIENNA: Tehran hosts the UN atomic agency for talks tomorrow, marking the start of a new and perhaps last-ditch diplomatic push aimed at resolving the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program peacefully.
The visit comes ahead of the first talks since June between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, possibly later this month.
Some observers suggested that Iran is waiting until after the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting before responding to the six powers’ proposal to meet in January. Hopes were however not high that the IAEA and Iran would reach a deal, with the UN body’s head Yukiya Amano saying on Friday that he was “not necessarily optimistic.”
“It doesn’t seem likely that an agreement will be reached,” one Western diplomat told AFP. “Despite Iran’s statements to the contrary and the IAEA’s previous cautious optimism, there still remain some pretty big disagreements.”
Even if, against the odds and after a year of trying, the two sides do manage to cut a deal, many IAEA member states fear that the deal may tie the agency’s hands and prevent it from conducting a proper investigation.
The mooted “structured approach” accord might include the IAEA agreeing to “close” an issue for good after it has been addressed or being able to visit a site or interview a scientist only once, diplomats said.
Parallel diplomatic efforts by the “P5+1” powers meanwhile 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 — but also when further enriched to 90-percent in a nuclear weapon, a relatively easy step.
Iran rejected in a series of meetings in 2012 P5+1 demands to suspend 20-percent enrichment and take other steps because the six powers stopped short of offering relief from sanctions that last year began to cause it major economic problems.
The six are since reported to have reworked the proposal, albeit not substantially.
Watching both the IAEA and the P5+1 meetings will be Israel, the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear-armed state, which has threatened to bomb Iran unless the expansion of its nuclear activities is halted.
“If Iran continues on its current path ... we could be on a trajectory to military confrontation later in the year, possibly as early as this summer,” former US State Department official Mark Fitzpatrick, now at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told AFP.
He added though that he expected Iran to try to “forestall” this, either by converting some of its 20-percent uranium stockpile or “starting talks so that there appears to be some diplomatic progress.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: A number of prominent Saudi women have cited several reasons for not running as candidates in the upcoming municipal elections. Some of them are an alleged lack of clarity on nominations and voting; they are too busy; and they want to make wa...
JEDDAH: At the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Naif briefed the Cabinet on the talks held by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman with President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi of Yemen,...
JEDDAH: Private schools have been devising new ways to raise money from parents to circumvent the Education Ministry’s cap on fee increases, a local publication reported here recently.Schools now charge for services that do not require the ministry’s...
JEDDAH: Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee Prince Mohammed bin Naif has approved the general plan for implementation of Civil Defense works in emergency cases during the current Haj...
RIYADH: The government has shut down a cosmetics factory in Riyadh for using undisclosed raw materials and unhygienic process at its production facility.A team from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, during a routine inspection, found the plant u...
RIYADH: Recruitment offices here have decided to stop hiring Bangladeshi workers because they claim that a supply crunch has raised costs.Ibrahim Al-Megheimish, a recruitment expert, said that there are too few Bangladeshi workers seeking employment,...

Stay Connected

Facebook