“I call on the IAEA Secretariat and certain Western countries to stop making political speeches and allow us to continue our negotiations in a professional way and in a calm atmosphere,” Iran’s ambassador to the UN nuclear agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said in a speech at a meeting of the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors on Wednesday, Iranian media reported.
The West suspects Iran’s nuclear program may be aimed at developing a nuclear weapons capability, but Tehran insists the program is solely for peaceful purposes.
In his speech, Soltanieh also said, “I announce that as soon as the agency accepts our legitimate and logical stance stated in the documents (presented) during the latest meeting in Vienna on May 15, 2013, the structured approach document will be finalized, and Iran will be ready to grant access to Parchin according to the modality.”
The IAEA has called on Iran to sign and implement a structured approach document to resolve the outstanding issues and has stated that gaining access to the Parchin military site, which is located southeast of Tehran, is a priority.
The UN nuclear watchdog has claimed that Iran might have been trying to sanitize the Parchin site of any incriminating evidence of explosive tests that would indicate efforts to design nuclear weapons.
Iran has dismissed the claim and has made it clear that access to the “conventional” military site would not be possible before an agreement is reached on the structured approach document.
Amano says Iran nuclear talks ‘going around in circles’
According to AFP, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told reporters in Vienna on Monday, “As our verification capacity has been negatively impacted by extensive activities (at Parchin), it may no longer be possible to find anything even if we are given access.”
Iran has dismissed such claims as propaganda, saying that evidence of military nuclear activities can never be cleaned up.
According to Reuters, Amano also said, “To be frank, for some time now we have been going around in circles,” referring to 10 rounds of negotiations in the last 17 months between Iran and the agency, which have failed to achieve any breakthrough.
Russia, China join West in pressing Iran at UN nuclear meeting
On Wednesday, China and Russia joined the United States, France, Germany, and Britain, in pressing Iran to cooperate with the UN nuclear agency at a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, Reuters reported.
In a joint statement on the decade-old dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, the six major powers said, “We are deeply concerned that Iran continues to undertake certain nuclear activities contrary to UN Security Council and IAEA board resolutions.”
The UN Security Council has approved four rounds of sanctions against Iran, calling on the country to suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.
The IAEA-Iran talks are separate from, but still closely linked to, broader diplomatic negotiations between Tehran and the six powers, known as the P5+1 group, to resolve the nuclear dispute.
The most recent round of high-level talks between Tehran and the P5+1 group, which failed to produce a breakthrough, was held in the Kazakh city of Almaty on April 5 and 6