IAEA says no breakthrough in Iran nuclear probe

UN nuclear energy watchdog says its probe into Iran’s nuclear programme produces limited results ahead of June deadline expected to seal final agreement between Tehran and P5+ 1

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Friday that it had made some progress, but there was no breakthrough in allegations whether Iran attempted to gain nuclear bombs remained essentially stalled ahead of the June 30 deadline between Iran and the Western powers.

The IAEA said Iran’s unwillingness to cooperate with the international investigators would cause the transparency problem, without that the watchdog said it cannot "conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."

After a decade of deadlock, Iran and the group of six world powers, dubbed P5+ 1 and consisting of the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany, had reached a preliminary framework nuclear agreement in Switzerland by the beginning of April.

The international nuclear watchdog urged Tehran on more cooperation and willingness for its investigation in the nuclear issue until the punitive sanctions imposed by the West are completely lifted following a prospective final deal.

The preliminary deal reached in Switzerland between the parties specifies that Iran will decrease two thirds of its uranium enrichment centrifuges and limits the level of enrichment to 3.67 percent, which would prevent Iran from making a nuclear bomb. Many of the restrictions will expire in 15 years.

The deal also decreases Iranian uranium stockpiles from 10,000 kilograms to 300 which will be enriched only by Arak Nuclear Reactor under the inspection  of the IAEA.  

In return, the 10-year-deal promises Iran that all UN sanctions on Tehran will end with Iran’s fulfilment of the criteria within a planned calendar, after a July 1 final deadline was agreed between Iran and the West.  

But the West insist upon that a complete removal of sanctions would depend on the IAEA’s full-fledged access into Iran’s nuclear facilities and freely deliver a comprehensive report on its findings which will confirm or deny the allegations and accusations attributed to Tehran.

The IAEA investigates some 12 alleged activities in Iran’s long-disputed nuclear programme which is believed by the West to have been aiming to obtain nuclear bombs, including suspicions that Tehran was working on the development of a nuclear payload for missiles.

The agency stated that it will continue to cooperate with Tehran in order to improve the dialogue between the parties which prepare to seal the final agreement at the end of next month.

"The Agency and Iran agreed to continue the dialogue on these practical measures and to meet again in the near future," said the IAEA report, seen by Reuters.

But, European envoys said on Tuesday that a final agreement on Iran’s long-disputed nuclear programme seems dubious before the June 30 deadline as the technical details still remain unresolved between the parties.

French Ambassador to Washington Gerard Araud said it was very likely that the negotiations would go beyond June 30, hereby, a comprehensive final deal might be missed on Iran’s decade-old nuclear dispute.

"It’s very likely that we won’t have an agreement before the end of June or even [right] after," Araud said in an appearance at the Atlantic Council think tank.

German Ambassador to the US Peter Wittig also expressed his pessimism over a final Iran nuclear deal that will immediately require lifting of the sanctions imposed on Tehran.

"Iran needs some time to start the implementation of this agreement, so in the best case sanctions relief would not happen before the end of this year," German Ambassador Wittig said.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned Tehran on Wednesday as he said France would not accept the deal unless it is clear that inspections can be done at all Iranian installations, including military sites.

Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei rejected on May 20 “arrogant demands” of the Western countries for access to all Iranian nuclear facilities.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Geneva on Saturday in an effort to further negotiate to ripen the nuclear talks on the sidelines of the June 30 deadline.

TRTWorld and agencies