UN nuclear agency makes no progress in Iran probe

UN nuclear agency makes no progress in Iran probe

VIENNA - Reuters
UN nuclear agency makes no progress in Iran probe

ukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) attends the opening session of the 58th IAEA. AFP Photo

Iran is failing to address suspicions it may have researched how to build an atomic bomb, a U.N. watchdog agency's report showed on Nov. 7, potentially complicating efforts by six powers to reach a deal with Tehran on its nuclear programme.

The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran had still not provided information about two specific areas of the IAEA's investigation that it was supposed to do more than two months ago.

The confidential document was issued to IAEA member states less than three weeks before a self-imposed Nov. 24 deadline for Iran and the six global powers to end a decade-old standoff over the Islamic Republic's atomic activities.

"Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures," the IAEA report said.

It was referring to two steps that Iran had agreed to carry out by late August, to help clarify allegations of explosives tests and other activity that could be used to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Iran denies any nuclear weapons aims.

The continuing deadlock in the IAEA's long-running inquiry suggests that any renewed headway will probably have to wait until after the negotiations between Iran and the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are concluded.

Western officials say Iran must step up cooperation with the IAEA to help clarify its concerns as part of a broader diplomatic settlement, suggesting that some of the relief from sanctions the oil-producing country seeks will depend on this.