Iran and the UN's international nuclear watchdog have failed to make progress in inspections talks. No date has been set for negotiations to resume.
The latest talks between the United Nations' nuclear watchdog and Iran aimed at hammering out a deal that would give international inspectors access to Tehran's nuclear sites have ended without an agreement.
"There has been no progress," the International Atomic Energy Agency's chief inspector Herman Nackaerts told reporters after several hours of talks with Tehran's envoy to IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh.
"Iran raised issues that we have already discussed and added new ones. This is disappointing," Nackaerts told reporters at the agency's headquarters in Vienna, adding that the IAEA had gone into Friday's talks with the intention of finalizing a deal. No date has been set for further talks.
For his part, Soltanieh stressed that Iran was determined to allay Western fears about its nuclear program.
"We are ready to remove all ambiguities and prove to the world that our activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes and none of these allegations [of seeking a nuclear weapon] are true," he said. "But we need time and patience and a quiet environment" for talks. "Therefore let Iran and the IAEA do their work."
Western nations, including the United States and European countries, fear Iran may be using its nuclear power program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran has repeatedly insisted that the program is for peaceful purposes only.
Among the thorniest issues in the negotiations was the IAEA's demand that Tehran grant its inspectors immediate access to the Parchin military complex, where it has said it believes Iranian researchers have conducted explosives tests.
Soltanieh conceded in his comments to reporters that this was one of the major sticking points during Friday's talks.
“That is in fact one of the problems,” he said. "The more you politicize an issue which was purely technical it creates an obstacle and damages the environment."
Fears about Iran's true intentions have Western nations to impose a series of economic sanctions on the country, including an EU oil embargo, which is to come into force on July 1.
Friday's talks were closely watched by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, which are to resume broader talks with Iran about its nuclear program in Moscow later this month.
pfd/mz (Reuters, AFP)