Insiders: Iran-U.N. Atomic Talks Yielded Little Traction

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 2, 2013, 9:02 a.m.

Ir­an and the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency ap­peared to gain little trac­tion last week in clear­ing the way for a stalled nuc­le­ar probe, des­pite pos­it­ive state­ments by par­ti­cipants, en­voys told Re­u­ters on Wed­nes­day.

Last Fri­day’s meet­ing was the 11th between Ir­an and the IAEA since early last year to con­sider po­ten­tial ground rules for the U.N. nuc­le­ar watch­dog to look in­to in­tel­li­gence find­ings that the Middle East­ern na­tion once may have en­gaged sci­entif­ic activ­it­ies rel­ev­ant to atom­ic-arms de­vel­op­ment. The al­leged work could in­clude nuc­le­ar-rel­ev­ant ex­plos­ives tests, as well as work on a nuc­le­ar-bomb trig­ger at its Parchin mil­it­ary base.

Ir­a­ni­an del­eg­ates to last week’s Ir­an-IAEA talks — the first held un­der Ir­a­ni­an Pres­id­ent Has­san Rouh­ani — said Tehran hopes to break sig­ni­fic­ant ground on the mat­ter in a mat­ter of months, ac­cord­ing to an in­formed dip­lo­mat. However, pre­vi­ous hints at for­ward move­ment ul­ti­mately led nowhere, mul­tiple en­voys said.

Ir­an and the U.N. or­gan­iz­a­tion are next slated to meet on Oct. 28, fol­low­ing two days of sep­ar­ate atom­ic dis­cus­sions between Tehran and six ma­jor gov­ern­ments. The five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many for years have sought more con­crete as­sur­ances that Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram is not sup­port­ing de­vel­op­ment of a weapon cap­ab­il­ity.

A Sen­ate pan­el is not ex­pec­ted to con­sider a House-passed Ir­an sanc­tions bill for sev­er­al more weeks, at least, pos­sibly pla­cing any de­bate on the le­gis­la­tion after Ir­an’s sched­uled meet­ing with the “P-5+1” na­tions, Re­u­ters re­por­ted sep­ar­ately on Tues­day.

Mean­while, Ir­an’s law­makers broadly backed Rouh­ani’s nuc­le­ar-re­lated out­reach at the U.N. Gen­er­al As­sembly last week, Re­u­ters re­por­ted on Wed­nes­day, cit­ing state me­dia.

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