Iran must increase cooperation with UN inspectors: IAEA
VIENNA: Iran was taken to task for lack of cooperation with international nuclear investigations at a UN atomic agency meeting which wrapped up Thursday but room was left for EU-Iran talks that seek guarantees Tehran is not developing atomic weapons.
For the first time since the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) began a probe of Iran's nuclear program in February 2003, its board of governors did not adopt either a formal statement or resolution on the matter at what are regular meetings at the agency's headquarters in Vienna.
Diplomats said this was at least in part because the initiative has passed to talks taking place between the European Union and Iran to get Tehran to abandon uranium enrichment in return for trade and security benefits.
The IAEA's 35-nation board called on Iran to do more to cooperate with UN inspectors but also backed the EU-Iran talks.
In a closing statement, the board said that at this week's four-day meeting "support was expressed for the negotiations currently being undertaken between Iran, France, Germany and the UK (Britain) . . . and expressed hope that an agreement would be reached on long-term arrangements."
The EU-Iran talks resume in Geneva next week, with Washington possibly ready to sign on to the European initiative by helping the EU offer credible incentives, such as helping Tehran join the World Trade Organization (WTO) or modernize its civil aviation fleet.
But there is a fundamental sticking point.
Iran will not yield on its right and intentions to make nuclear fuel, Cyrus Nasseri, who headed the Iranian delegation here, said.
But Nasseri said he was "confident" an agreement could be reached, if the political will were there.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Thursday the United States and Europe, by seeking to bar the country from enriching uranium, want to prevent it from developing.
“The United States and Europe, despite their differences, are united in pressuring Iran to renounce the enrichment of uranium because enrichment is a road toward scientific progress, and if a people travel that road the oppressors will have less effect on them,” he told a group of students. agencies