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Iran says IAEA visit to Parchin not possible before new agreement is signed
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_ep1(102).jpgTEHRAN – Iran said on Friday that IAEA inspectors will not be allowed to visit the Parchin military site before a new agreement is finalized.      

 
“No agreement will be made about… a visit to Parchin before the framework of a (new) modality is finalized during the negotiations,” Iran’s ambassador to the UN nuclear watchdog, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told the Persian service of the Fars News Agency. 
 
“Two days of technical and intensive talks were held during which certain disagreements were resolved and some others remained,” Soltanieh said in reference to the meetings held between Iranian and IAEA officials in Tehran on January 16 and 17, during which the sides agreed to hold more talks in Tehran on February 12. 
 
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 for the UN nuclear watchdog. 
 
The IAEA 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. 
 
Soltanieh added, “During this round of talks, steps forward were taken, and Iran was ready to continue the negotiations for another day. But (more) talks were set for Bahman 24 (February 12) because two of the IAEA representatives were scheduled to go on a mission in another country.”  
 
According to Reuters, IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts, who headed the eight-member IAEA delegation, said in Vienna on Friday after returning from Tehran, “We could not finalize the structured approach to resolve the outstanding issues.” He gave no further details.  
 
And in a note sent to the IAEA member states about the two-day talks, the UN nuclear agency said that “important differences” between the two sides remained, Reuters reported. 
 
Iran will not halt uranium enrichment for a second 
 
In an interview with Al-Alam News Network on Friday, Soltanieh said, “The negotiations with the agency were successful in terms of bringing views closer and resolving certain disagreements, but a structured approach (document) will be signed after all mutual disagreements are settled.”    
 
“Agreement was made with the agency on certain issues, but no document has been signed yet,” he said, adding, “The talks with the agency will continue to solve the disagreements.” 
 
He added that Iran is ready to clear up the existing ambiguities. 
 
Elsewhere in his remarks, Soltanieh commented on the main bone of contention between Tehran and the West, namely Iran’s uranium enrichment program, and said, “Iran has not halted and will not halt enrichment even for a second.”   
 
Iran’s talks with the IAEA are separate from but still related to the negotiations between Tehran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) over the country’s nuclear program, the latest round of which was held in Moscow on June 18 and 19, 2012. 
 
According to Reuters, the lack of outcome in talks between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog may strengthen suspicions among analysts and diplomats that Iran would make concessions to the IAEA only if it won something in return from the powers, which unlike the UN agency can ease sanctions on the country. 
 
The six major powers have demanded that Iran halt 20 percent enrichment, shut down the Fordo uranium enrichment facility, and ship all of its stocks of 20 percent enriched uranium out of the country. 
 
Iran’s main demand is that its right to uranium enrichment, as enumerated in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, be recognized. 
 
EP/PA 

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Last Updated on 19 January 2013 18:02