- Imprisoned Dervish Transferred to Hospital after Heart Attack
- Seven prisoners Were Hanged In Northern Iran
- Three Prisoners Were Hanged In Central Iran
- Dervish Issued Harsh Sentence to Intimidate Others
- 2 Christians are arrested in Tehran
- Iran’s Pre-Election Crackdown on Journalists
- CIA head visits Israel to discuss Syria, Iran's nuclear program
- US targets Iran rial, gold imports in sanctions pressure
- Israel air strike on Syria 'is a message to Iran and the US'
- Israel Will Strike Iran 's Subterranean Nuclear Sites
- Iran, not Israel, faces an existential threat, says top US analyst
- Oil-rich Emirates a key part of defense against Iran
- Religious leaders ban 30 women from running for Iran's presidency
- Iranian cleric: Women can't be president in Iran
- Iranians marrying foreigners without state consent face prosecution
- More women smuggling drugs out of Iran
- Canada’s High Court could try Iran for Zahra Kazemi murder
- "Hole"/ Saba Vasefi
- When it comes to Syria and Hezbollah, Israel is walking a tightrope
- IRGC: World now eying Iranian regime's resistance
- Two Iranians in Kenya found guilty of bomb plots
- Iran develops rocket-launcher submarine, smart ships
- Iran to unveil indigenous ballistic, cruise missiles
- Why Iran Is Trying to Save the Syrian Regime
Saturday 09 June 2012
The Guardian - Talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over inspections of suspect nuclear sites broke down on Friday, deepening pessimism over the prospects of a negotiated settlement to the international impasse over Tehran's nuclear aspirations.
Negotiations at the agency headquarters in Vienna were aimed at agreeing the framework for an IAEA investigation into whether Iran had a nuclear weapons programme in the past, something Tehran has denied. The break-down of the talks is likely to further damage the prospects for broader negotiations between Iran and six major powers due to resume in Moscow on 17 June, aimed at finding a compromise over the Iranian uranium enrichment programme and forestalling Israeli military action.
An IAEA statement after the talks expressed "disappointment" with Iranian negotiating tactics, saying the Tehran delegation "raised issues that we have already discussed and added new ones". The statement said no date had been set for a follow-on meeting.
The failure of the talks is a personal blow to the authority of the IAEA director general, Yukiya Amano, who flew to Tehran to finalise an agreement and returned declaring the deal all but clinched.
At the heart of discussions was the IAEA inspectors' wish to visit a military site at Parchin as a priority, in order to look into intelligence reports that a special metal chamber had been installed there in 2000 for testing high-explosive components of a nuclear warhead.
Iran denies having a weapons programme and US intelligence estimates say the effort to build a nuclear bomb was probably discontinued in 2003. However, the IAEA requires a full accounting of any past weapons work and compliance with thorough agency monitoring before certifying that a country's nuclear programme is for purely peaceful purposes.
The UN security council has repeatedly called on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment until it can convince the international community that it will not seek to use the technology to make weapons.
Even before the breakdown of the IAEA talks, hopes of a diplomatic settlement to the nuclear stand-off had been dimming after a unproductive meeting in Baghdad last month between Iran and the six-nation negotiating group comprising the US, China, the UK, France, Germany and Russia. Furthermore preparations for the next round of talks in Moscow have already been marred by a spat over the preparations. Iranian officials this week accused the EU diplomatic service, which is serving as a coordinator for the six-nation group, of dragging its heels in setting up an agenda.
The accusation drew a frustrated rebuke from Helga Schmid, the deputy head of the service, who wrote to her Iranian counterpart, Ali Bagheri on Thursday night pointing out that the two of them "had numerous phone calls and long meetings" aimed at setting up a framework of a sustained and serious dialogue.
"Now there is a need to engage seriously on issues of substance in order to agree on concrete confidence building steps which could be implemented swiftly. We are very much hoping for a political commitment on your side," Schmid wrote.
A collapse of diplomacy over the Iranian nuclear programme would significantly raise tensions as tough new western sanctions take effect in the next few weeks and Israel weighs the possibility of military action acting at setting back the Iranian programme which the Israeli leadership insists is an active bid to make weapons.