Iran, U.N. Atomic Watchdog Upbeat After Two-Day Meeting

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 29, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

Ir­an and the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency held “very pro­duct­ive” dis­cus­sions this week about resolv­ing a rift over the Middle East­ern na­tion’s nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies and will meet again in two weeks, the two sides said Tues­day in an un­usu­al joint state­ment.

The de­clar­a­tion came after two days of meet­ings that star­ted on Monday with a face-to-face talk between Ir­a­ni­an Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Ab­bas Araq­chi and IAEA Dir­ect­or Gen­er­al Yukiya Amano at the U.N. nuc­le­ar watch­dog’s headquar­ters in Vi­enna. Ir­a­ni­an and IAEA tech­nic­al ex­perts then spent Monday and Tues­day pour­ing over an un­dis­closed Ir­a­ni­an pro­pos­al for resolv­ing out­stand­ing is­sues re­gard­ing his na­tion’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram — which Ir­an in­sists is peace­ful but some na­tions fear is geared to­ward weapons de­vel­op­ment.

Tero Var­jor­anta, IAEA deputy dir­ect­or gen­er­al in charge of nuc­le­ar in­spec­tions, on Tues­day told re­port­ers gathered at his agency’s headquar­ters that the two-day tech­nic­al meet­ing was “very pro­duct­ive.”

“Ir­an presen­ted a new pro­pos­al on prac­tic­al meas­ures as a con­struct­ive con­tri­bu­tion to strengthen co­oper­a­tion and dia­logue with a view to fu­ture res­ol­u­tion of all out­stand­ing is­sues,” Var­jor­anta said, read­ing the joint state­ment.

Ir­an and the U.N. atom­ic watch­dog de­cided after their “sub­stant­ive dis­cus­sions” that they will con­vene an­oth­er meet­ing in Tehran on Nov. 11, in or­der “to take this co­oper­a­tion for­ward,” Var­jor­anta said.

Ir­a­ni­an Am­bas­sad­or Reza Na­jafi, stand­ing next to Var­jor­anta, spoke op­tim­ist­ic­ally about a new res­ol­u­tion to the nuc­le­ar dis­pute that he said his coun­try is of­fer­ing.

“I be­lieve that, with the sub­mis­sion of these new pro­pos­als by Ir­an, we have been able to open a new chapter of co­oper­a­tion,” he said, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters.

Ir­an’s meet­ings with the U.N. body are sep­ar­ate and dis­tinct from those it also is hold­ing with the so-called “P-5+1” — United States, Bri­tain, France, China, Rus­sia and Ger­many. Tech­nic­al ex­perts from the sev­en na­tions are slated to meet on Wed­nes­day and Thursday in Vi­enna in pre­par­a­tion for a Nov. 7-8 Geneva sum­mit between seni­or dip­lo­mats from the coun­tries.

In the United States, some mem­bers of Con­gress are push­ing for the pas­sage of Sen­ate le­gis­la­tion that would ex­pand eco­nom­ic sanc­tions against Ir­an. Pres­id­ent Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion has pled with Sen­ate aides to delay any move to ex­pand sanc­tions as talks con­tin­ue with the Middle East­ern na­tion.

U.S. Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry on Monday night said it “would be the height of ir­re­spons­ib­il­ity” to not con­tin­ue the dip­lo­mat­ic ne­go­ti­ations with Ir­an, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg.

“We will not suc­cumb to fear tac­tics” against con­tinu­ing the talks, Kerry said at the non­par­tis­an U.S. In­sti­tute of Peace. Kerry didn’t elab­or­ate on his com­ments. Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Net­an­yahu, though, has been crit­ic­al of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­sire to en­gage as it has been with Ir­an.

Obama and Net­an­yahu talked over the phone on Monday about Ir­an and oth­er is­sues, Re­u­ters re­por­ted sep­ar­ately.

“The two lead­ers agreed to con­tin­ue their close co­ordin­a­tion on a range of se­cur­ity is­sues,” the White House said.

What We're Following See More »
Nuclear Bombers Preparing to Go Back on 24-Hour Alert
9 hours ago

"The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991...Putting the B-52s back on alert is just one of many decisions facing the Air Force as the U.S. military responds to a changing geopolitical environment that includes North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, President Trump’s confrontational approach to Pyongyang, and Russia’s increasingly potent and active armed forces."

Senate Intel Postpones Testimony by Cohen
2 days ago
Senate Rejects Effort to Nix SALT Tax Changes
3 days ago

"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."

Lewandowski Meets with Senate Intelligence Committee
3 days ago

"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."

Some Members Seek to Wrap Up Russia Investigations by Year’s End
4 days ago

"A growing number of key Republicans are sending this message to the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians: Wrap it up soon. In the House and Senate, several Republicans who sit on key committees are starting to grumble that the investigations have spanned the better part of the past nine months, contending that the Democratic push to extend the investigation well into next year could amount to a fishing expedition."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.