IAEA Inspectors Hope To Gain Access To Suspected Iranian Nuclear Development Site

Category: Politics / Jan 15, 2013 3:19PM EDT
United Nations nuclear inspectors hope to gain access to Iran's Parchin military site during a visit this week as part of an investigation into suspected atom bomb research, the delegation leader said on Tuesday (January 15). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) aims to finalize a framework deal with Iran on Wednesday (January 16) that would enable it to resume its inquiry according to IAEA Deputy Director-General Herman Nackaerts. Nackaerts was speaking at Vienna airport before he and other senior IAEA officials departed for Tehran for a new round of negotiations, which have so far failed to achieve a breakthrough. "We are aiming to finalize the structured approach to resolving the outstanding issues on possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program. We hope that we will be allowed to go to Parchin, and if access is granted we will welcome the chance to do so, and as you well see, we are ready to go," Nackaerts said. The IAEA, whose mission it is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in the world, has been trying for a year to negotiate a so-called structured approach with Tehran that would give it access to sites, officials and documents in Iran. The IAEA's priority is to visit the Parchin military facility southeast of Tehran, where the agency suspects explosives tests relevant for nuclear weapons may have taken place, perhaps a decade ago. Tehran denies this. Both the IAEA and Tehran have said progress was made at their last meeting in the Iranian capital in mid-December, without giving details. "Throughout this process the DG (IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano) has always said that we're approaching these talks in a constructive spirit, and also this time we're approaching it in the same spirit, and we trust that Iran will work with us in the same spirit," Nackaerts said. Some members of the IAEA team carried metallic cases, apparently with equipment they would need to inspect Parchin for any traces of illicit nuclear-related activity there. -Reuters