IAEA Chief not Hopeful on Iran Inspection Progress
[An Nahar] The U.N. nuclear chief Friday said he was not hopeful of striking a deal with Iran next week that would see Tehran address allegations of past nuclear weapons research and grant access to controversial sites.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the ineffective International Atomic Energy Agency, said the outlook for an agreement between IAEA officials and their Iranian counterparts when they meet on January 16 was "uncertain".
His remarks came after Iran Wednesday poured water on the U.N. watchdog's hopes of securing access to the Parchin military complex where suspected past research into atomic bomb triggers might have been carried out.
Iran said it would not agree to any inspections beyond those of declared nuclear sites required by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
For the past year, the IAEA has been trying to reach agreement with Iran on a "structured approach" -- jargon for a deal whereby Iran would grant access to sites, scientists and documents involved in its alleged weaponization efforts.
Foremost among those is the Parchin military base outside Tehran, where the IAEA suspects Iran may have conducted past tests of conventional explosives that could be used to detonate an atomic bomb.
Iran denies seeking or ever having sought nuclear weapons, and rejected the alleged evidence outright in a series of meetings with the IAEA last year.
"Negotiations with Iran are very difficult," Amano told a presser in Tokyo.
"Will we take a linear path toward an agreement? I am not necessarily optimistic. The outlook is not necessarily bright."
Posted by: Fred 2013-01-12