Iran says IAEA nuclear inquiry not stalled, will address concerns

Iran said on Tuesday it would still address concerns about its nuclear programme, even though it missed a deadline last month for providing information about its suspected atomic bomb research.

Reuters| Last Updated: Sep 10, 2014, 02:10 AM IST

Vienna: Iran said on Tuesday it would still address concerns about its nuclear programme, even though it missed a deadline last month for providing information about its suspected atomic bomb research.

Iran`s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency suggested his country had not fully implemented five nuclear transparency measures by Aug 25, as agreed with the IAEA, in part because of the "complexity" of the issues involved.

Iranian and IAEA officials would meet soon again, perhaps by the end of September, Ambassador Reza Najafi told reporters.

Western diplomats have often accused Iran of stonewalling the IAEA, but Najafi said: "There is no deadlock. We are sure we can implement that ... We are ready to complete that."

An IAEA report showed on Friday that Iran had carried out only three of the five steps to help allay international fears about its nuclear programme, which the West suspects is working to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran, which has been promising to cooperate with the IAEA since Hassan Rouhani, seen as a pragmatist, was elected president last year, says the programme is peaceful.

The two issues that have not been fully addressed are alleged experiments on explosives that could be used for an atomic device, and studies related to calculating nuclear explosive yields.

A lack of progress in the IAEA probe would further complicate efforts by six world powers to negotiate a resolution to a wider, decade-old dispute with Iran and curb its nuclear work in exchange for a gradual ending of sanctions.

Western officials say Iran must address the IAEA`s concerns and that, although there is no chance of the probe being completed before the scheduled end of the six-power talks, some of the sanctions relief Iran is seeking would probably depend on its cooperation with the IAEA.

It remains unclear, however, to what extent Iran must own up to any past illicit work as part of a broader diplomatic deal.