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IAEA Delegation Arrives in Iran for New Talks

A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived early Wednesday in Tehran for new talks on Iran's disputed nuclear program.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/13/2013, 8:46 AM

IAEA delegation
IAEA delegation

A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived early Wednesday in Tehran for new talks on Iran's disputed nuclear program, the ISNA news agency reported.

The UN nuclear watchdog will work hard to resolve differences with Iran over its nuclear program at the talks, the body's chief inspector, Herman Nackaerts, told reporters at Vienna airport on Tuesday.

"Differences remain... we will work hard to try to resolve these differences," Nackaerts said as he boarded a plane for Tehran. "We will have good negotiations."

The IAEA delegation is due to meet Iranian officials on Wednesday for the eighth round of talks in a year, and the third such trip in the past three months.

The IAEA continues to urge Iran to grant it access to nuclear sites, particularly Parchin, as well as individuals and documents that can help provide information on its November 2011 report into Tehran's nuclear activities.

In the report, the IAEA maintains that it had credible information that Iran had worked to develop nuclear weapons prior to 2003 and possibly again since then.

Tehran, however, continues to insist that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, all the while making nearly daily declarations affirming its desire to obliterate the State of Israel.

The IAEA claims that activity relevant to nuclear weapons development has taken place at the Parchin military base near Tehran, and—despite affirmations by Iran to the contrary—very likely since then.

The Islamic regime says the IAEA already visited Parchin twice in 2005 and found no implicating evidence. The agency, however, has countered that it has obtained new information since then, renewing its desire to return to the site.

The IAEA also claims that as a result of activity at Parchin spotted by satellite, including moving "considerable" volumes of earth, its inspections there will be "seriously undermined" if it ever goes.

As a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran is required to submit its nuclear facilities to inspection by the agency, but insists that Parchin is a military site and therefore not subject to the inspection.

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast suggested Tuesday that inspection of the Parchin military site by the IAEA would be possible in the context of a "comprehensive agreement" that recognizes its right to peaceful nuclear energy.