Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • French teenage girls held over Syria jihad plans

    Read more

  • Good borders make good neighbours, Merkel tells Ukraine

    Read more

  • Iceland issues aviation alert on volcano activity

    Read more

  • France will not be 'be pushed around' by Germany

    Read more

  • Libya withdraws as Africa Cup of Nations host

    Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

Asia-pacific

UN nuclear watchdog fails to reach deal with Iran

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-02-14

UN inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency failed to reach an agreement with Iranian officials in Tehran on Thursday following talks aimed at curbing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme.

U.N. inspectors returned on Thursday from talks in Tehran with no deal on access to Iran’s nuclear sites and no date for new talks, failing to produce even a small signal of hope for wider big power diplomacy aimed at averting a war.

“Despite its many commitments to do so, Iran has not negotiated in good faith,” said a Western diplomat accredited to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna who was not at the talks. “It appears that we now have to ask ourselves if this is still the right tactic.”

The deadlock is a chilling signal for a wider effort by six major powers to get Iran to curb a programme that they fear could give it the capacity to build a nuclear bomb, something Israel has suggested it will prevent by force if diplomacy fails.

The IAEA and Iran “could not finalise the document” setting out terms for an IAEA inquiry into possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme, chief U.N. inspector Herman Nackaerts said at Vienna airport after returning from Iran.

He said no new date had been set for talks that have shown no progress in more than a year, adding: “Time is needed to reflect on the way forward.”

The United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany are due to meet Iran for separate talks in Kazakhstan on Feb. 26 to tackle a decade-old row that has already produced four rounds of U.N. sanctions against Iran.

But the Islamic Republic, which denies any military dimension to its work and is asking for acknowledgement that it is entitled to produce nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes, is heading for a presidential election in June.

That fact alone makes it hard for any official to be seen to make concessions to foreign powers, let alone ones that suit Iran’s enemies, the United States and Israel, which is widely assumed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed power.

“On behalf of the Iranian nation, I say that whoever thinks that the Iranian nation would surrender to pressure is making a huge mistake and will take his wish to the grave,” outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday, according to state television.

Clock ticking


Yet while talks go nowhere, the diplomatic clock is ticking.

Iran is expanding a stockpile of higher-grade 20-percent-enriched uranium ever closer to levels where a critical mass of weapons-grade material would be only a short step away - something that Israel says would be a “red line” for action.

Washington has also warned, in less direct terms, that it will do what it takes to prevent Iran getting the bomb. Late last year it set a March deadline for Iran to start cooperating with the IAEA’s investigation, warning Tehran that it might otherwise be referred to the U.N. Security Council.

Tehran says intelligence information pointing to nuclear weapons research in Iran is forged and baseless.

Iran was first reported to the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear programme by the IAEA’s 35-nation board in 2006, and was then punished with U.N. sanctions, as well as stricter U.S. and European measures targeting its vital oil exports.

In negotiations since January 2012, the IAEA and Iran have been arguing over how the long-stalled investigation should be conducted, prompting Western diplomats to accuse Iran of endlessly playing for time.

Some diplomats and analysts say Iran is using its talks with the IAEA for leverage in the separate negotiations with world powers which, unlike the IAEA, have the power to ease sanctions.

The IAEA’s immediate priority had been to visit the Parchin base southeast of Tehran. It suspects explosives tests relevant to nuclear weapons may have taken place there, perhaps a decade ago, and then been concealed. Tehran denies the accusation.

In a note to member states, the IAEA said it would “continue to work to resolve the remaining differences” and that “the timing for the next meeting will be decided in due course”.

“This conversation is on hold and IAEA won’t make foolish concessions to Iran,” said Mark Hibbs, proliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment think-tank.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-02-14

  • IRAN - EU

    EU embargo on Iranian oil goes into effect

    Read more

  • IRAN

    Iran, nuclear watchdog reach deal on inspections

    Read more

  • IRAN - NUCLEAR

    IAEA reports 'major concerns' over Iran's nuclear drive

    Read more

COMMENT(S)