IAEA Deputy General for Safeguards Herman Nackaerts spoke with reporters on Friday following the meeting. “We met today to continue our discussions with Iran on the clarification of concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear programme, focusing on its possible military dimensions,” he said.
“We intended to finalise the structured approach paper that has been under consideration for many months. Today the Agency team came with a constructive spirit and hoped that the few remaining differences in the text could be resolved.”
The most recent talks came two months after talks between the two parties broke down in June.
“The discussions today were intensive, but important differences remain between Iran and the Agency that prevented agreement on this structured approach paper,” Nackaerts added.
The impending report is expected to contribute to the escalation of tensions between Iran and other countries, especially Israel and the United States.
The IAEA reportedly communicated its desire for Iran to grant its inspectors access to the Parchin, a military site the IAEA in which suspects Iran is carrying out testing that could aid the development of nuclear weapons. Access to the site was not part of the initial agreement in place between the IAEA and the Iranian government, and has been a contentious issue in discussions between the two.
On Sunday the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported that the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Fereydoun Abbasi insisted that Iran respects its cooperation with the IAEA and grants access to any of its sites to IAEA inspectors if “sufficient justifications” are given for doing so.
Although no future meetings are set between the IAEA and Iran, Abbasi claimed “we are ready to cooperate with the IAEA in the framework of technical issues and on the basis of logical arguments,” according to semi-official Fars News Agency.
The night before meetings concluded, diplomatic sources noted that Iran had installed numerous uranium enrichment centrifuges at its Fordow site.
“Only yesterday we received additional proof that Iran is continuing accelerated progress towards achieving nuclear weapons and is totally ignoring international demands,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday in Jerusalem.
Senior Iranian and Israeli officials have exchanged barbs and threats over the last month, as tensions continue to increase between the two countries surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme, which it has always insisted is intended as an energy initiative. However, Iran’s increasing nuclear capabilities have caught the attention of Israel and resulted in heavy sanctions from the US and the European Union.