UN fails again to reach nuke probe deal with Iran

AP News
Posted: May 15, 2013 3:34 PM
UN fails again to reach nuke probe deal with Iran

VIENNA (AP) — U.N. nuclear agency officials on Wednesday again failed to reach a deal with Iranian counterparts that would allow the agency to relaunch its probe of suspicions that Tehran might have worked on atomic arms.

It was the 10th inconclusive meeting between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran on the issue over the past year and a half. The IAEA's investigation has stalled for more than five years, with Tehran saying it has answered all questions it is obliged to.

Iran denies any interest in nuclear arms. Its chief negotiator, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, called the talks "constructive."

Herman Nackaerts, who heads the IAEA team, told reporters that the agency would continue seeking a deal although "our best efforts have not been successful so far."

No new meeting date was set.

In Turkey meanwhile, the European Union's top diplomat met with another Iranian official for discussions on whether there is enough common ground to schedule new negotiations between Tehran and six world powers on Iran's nuclear program.

The six want Iran to stop enriching uranium to a level just a technical step short of the grade used to arm nuclear warheads. The last round of talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, last month ended in stalemate.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iran's Saeed Jalili met at the Iranian Consulate in Istanbul. Neither took questions as they went into the meeting.