Nuke agency pushes Iran to open up military site
VIENNA - ReutersThe U.N. nuclear watchdog pressed Iran on Aug. 24 to address suspicions about nuclear bomb research in the Islamic state, pursuing diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute before any possible military action by Israel or the United States.
Tensions went up another notch on the eve of Aug. 24’s talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) when diplomatic sources said Iran had installed many more uranium enrichment centrifuges at its Fordow underground site. While the new machines are not yet operating, the move reaffirmed Iranian defiance of international demands on it to suspend enrichment and may strengthen the Israeli belief that toughened sanctions are failing to make Tehran change course.
Progress is expected
“Only yesterday we received additional proof that Iran is continuing accelerated progress towards achieving nuclear weapons and is totally ignoring international demands,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Aug. 24. Meanwhile, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said he expected progress in Aug. 24’s meeting. Herman Nackaerts, the IAEA’s global chief of inspections, said he would reiterate his request for access to the Parchin military facility, where he believes Iran has undertaken explosives tests relevant for developing a nuclear weapons capability.