IAEA Schedules Further Talks on Iran Nuclear Probe

International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards chief Herman Nackaerts, shown on Friday at the Vienna, Austria, airport after returning from talks in Iran. Another meeting is set for Jan. 16 on setting terms for the U.N. agency's investigation of Iran's nuclear efforts (AP Photo/Ronald Zak).
International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards chief Herman Nackaerts, shown on Friday at the Vienna, Austria, airport after returning from talks in Iran. Another meeting is set for Jan. 16 on setting terms for the U.N. agency's investigation of Iran's nuclear efforts (AP Photo/Ronald Zak).

The International Atomic Energy Agency achieved new common ground with Iran in negotiations on terms for a probe into evidence of possible nuclear arms-related activities by the Persian Gulf regional power, IAEA safeguards chief Herman Nackaerts said on Friday. The sides arranged to meet again on Jan. 16.

Iran and the Vienna, Austria-based organization have held a succession of gatherings in past months to establish ground rules for the U.N. investigation of possible military aspects of Iran's nuclear work. Tehran insists its nuclear ambitions are strictly peaceful.

The sides hope "to finalize the structured approach" at next month's meeting, and to "start implementing the plan shortly after that," Nackaerts said in released remarks following talks on Thursday in Tehran.

He said Iran had again denied a request to visit the country's Parchin base, which the U.N. watchdog has linked to a number of suspected nuclear-arms related studies.

"Access to Parchin is part of the structured approach and we hope ... we will implement that shortly after agreeing on the approach," Nackaerts said.

Iran's envoy to the agency described the Thursday session as “constructive," Iran's Press TV reported on Friday.

"Good progress was made,” Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh added.

One independent specialist expressed less optimism, Agence France-Presse reported on Friday.

"We have been down this road before," former U.S. State Department analyst Mark Fitzpatrick said. "Back in January, Iran similarly led the IAEA to expect that a deal was in sight, only to find hard-liners in Tehran insisting on putting up roadblocks."

Meanwhile, scheduling a potential new meeting between Tehran and six major governments was the focus of talks on Wednesday between high-level Iranian and European Union diplomatic personnel, Reuters reported on Friday.

 

December 14, 2012
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The International Atomic Energy Agency achieved new common ground with Iran in negotiations on terms for a probe into evidence of possible nuclear arms-related activities by the Persian Gulf regional power, IAEA safeguards chief Herman Nackaerts said on Friday. The sides arranged to meet again on Jan. 16.

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