Iran admits differences with UN atomic watchdog

Iran IAEA envoy, Ali Asghar SoltaniehTEHRAN — Iran acknowledged on Friday that it still has differences with the the UN atomic watchdog after two-days of talks over its disputed nuclear activities, but that the negotiations are progressing.

“Some of the differences were solved but it is very complex issue… No agreement has been signed but the the negotiations are progressing,” Iran’s International Atomic Energy Agency representative Ali Asghar Soltanieh said on television.

“We hope that they take our considerations into the document; it is good opportunity to reach an agreement,” he said, referring to a “structured approach” deal that would see Iran answer the allegations against its the possible military dimension of its nuclear drive.

The IAEA conducts regular inspections of Iran’s declared nuclear facilities but also wants access to what it believes are sites where undeclared activities aimed at developing nuclear weapons took place until 2003, and possibly since.

Iran denies working or ever having worked on the bomb and says the IAEA’s information is based on faulty foreign intelligence — material that it has not been shown.

Soltanieh’s comments came a day after a team led by IAEA chief inspector Herman Nackaerts wrapped up two days of crunch talks in Tehran, the second in a month.

“We decided to have more talks,” Soltanieh said, after what he called “serious and intensive negotiations.”

“When we agree on everything, we will sign it and we let people know the content of the deal.”

Nackaerts said in Vienna earlier on Friday that “differences remain so we could not finalise the structured approach to resolve the outstanding issues regarding possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme.”

He did not elaborate.

The only agreement was for both sides to meet in the Iranian capital again on February 12.

Soltanieh also once again dismissed the possibility of the IAEA inspecting the contested Parchin military site.

“As we said, until such time as we ink the agreement they would not have access to the sites they want to inspect,” he said.

Iran argues that, because no nuclear activities have taken place at Parchin, the IAEA has no business conducting inspections there.



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