Iran, UN Nuclear Watchdog to Meet in Two Weeks

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is set to meet Iran in Vienna on May 14-15, just months after the IAEA expressed open disappointment in Iran’s lack of transparency regarding its nuclear program. The meeting between the sides will come one month after Iran resumed negotiations with the P5+1—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany—which are set to continue on May 23.

IAEA Spokesperson Gill Tudor confirmed in comments sent to The Mideast Update that the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog will meet at the Iranian Permanent Mission in Vienna. Said Tudor of the meeting, “The purpose is to continue the negotiations started early this year.”

Those talks didn’t end well. In mid-February, the IAEA openly criticized Iran over their unwillingness at the time to allow the Agency access to the Parchin military compound.

The IAEA was interested in the visit due the site’s potential involvement in Tehran’s nuclear program. The IAEA has expressed concerns in the past that Iran may have conducted tests related to nuclear weapons.

Linking the Meetings

Iran said on Tuesday they expect the talks with the IAEA will “reflect” on the separate upcoming discussions between Tehran and the P5+1 later this month, according to Press TV. The Iranian news group quoted Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as expressing Iran’s willingness to work with the IAEA.

Speaking in a press briefing, the spokesman claimed they “have always been ready for cooperating with the Agency and clarifying ambiguities.”

That runs counter to a press statement from the IAEA back in February. The UN watchdog said at the time that despite  “intensive efforts,” agreement was not reached during a senior expert team’s visit to Iran on a document that would help clarify unresolved matters. Those include issues “relating to possible military dimensions” to the nuclear program, according to the IAEA press statement.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, May 2, 2012)