EU "disappointed" at little progress by Iran on nuclear issue

 The European Union said on Thursday it was disappointed with a lack of progress by Iran in addressing concerns about its suspected atomic bomb research, pressuring Tehran to cooperate with a long-stalled U.N. watchdog inquiry.

AFP| Updated: Sep 18, 2014, 19:10 PM IST

Vienna: The European Union said on Thursday it was disappointed with a lack of progress by Iran in addressing concerns about its suspected atomic bomb research, pressuring Tehran to cooperate with a long-stalled U.N. watchdog inquiry.

The 28-nation EU made the statement at a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which for years has been investigating allegations that Iran has worked on designing a nuclear weapon. Iran denies the charge.

In Britain, France and Germany, the EU groups three of the six world powers that are seeking to negotiate a resolution to a wider, decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear programme. Those talks resume in New York this week.

An IAEA report in early September showed Iran had failed to answer questions about what the U.N. agency calls the possible military dimensions (PMD) of the country`s nuclear programme by an agreed Aug. 25 deadline.

"The EU is disappointed with the very limited progress on PMD," the EU statement said. "It is essential and urgent that Iran cooperates fully and in a timely manner with the agency regarding all relevant issues."

"We urge Iran to demonstrate its cooperation by providing the agency with access to all the people, documents and sites requested, and encourage it to facilitate this cooperation through the issuance of visas."

Analysts say a stalled IAEA inquiry could further complicate the powers` parallel efforts to reach a settlement with Iran on curbing its nuclear programme in exchange for a gradual phasing out of sanctions hurting its oil-dependent economy.