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IAEA Can't Break Nuclear Impasse With Iran

International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards chief Herman Nackaerts speaks to reporters in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday. The U.N. nuclear watchdog said a team led by Nackaerts this week was foiled in efforts to resolve questions over Iran's nuclear program (AP Photo/Ronald Zak). International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards chief Herman Nackaerts speaks to reporters in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday. The U.N. nuclear watchdog said a team led by Nackaerts this week was foiled in efforts to resolve questions over Iran's nuclear program (AP Photo/Ronald Zak).

Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency were unable to make progress on resolving questions about Iran's contested atomic operations during a trip to the Middle Eastern state this week, the U.N. organization conceded on Wednesday (see GSN, Feb. 21).

The two-day visit that ended on Tuesday came nearly a month after a round of talks in Iran in January. In both cases, Iranian officials rejected the IAEA delegation's request to view the Parchin military installation, which has been seen as the possible site of a tank for performing explosive detonations relevant to a nuclear-weapon effort.

The sides also failed to reach any accord on a written instrument that would be aimed at helping to answer persistent questions about Iran's atomic program, "particularly those relating to possible military dimensions," according to an IAEA press release.

Iran says its nuclear program has no military component and has dismissed as fakes papers indicating it has conducted weapon-relevant activities.

"It is disappointing that Iran did not accept our request to visit Parchin during the first or second meetings," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in the release. "We engaged in a constructive spirit, but no agreement was reached" (International Atomic Energy Agency release, Feb. 22).

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