IAEA chief "not too optimistic" ahead of Iran meeting

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 22, 2012 11:08 AM
IAEA chief "not too optimistic" ahead of Iran meeting

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday he was not confident there would be a breakthrough with Iran over the Islamic republic's nuclear activities when talks resume later this week.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meets Iranian officials on Friday, more than two months after previous talks ended in failure, and is expected to seek to persuade Iran to address questions about its suspected nuclear weapons research.

"The reason I cannot be too optimistic is... we have been making our best efforts in a constructive spirit to work out an agreement between Iran and IAEA, but so far we have not been successful in reaching agreement," Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General, told reporters during a visit to Helsinki.

"I have no indication this will change very soon."

Iran denies accusations that it wants to develop nuclear weapon technology. But its refusal to limit and be more transparent about its nuclear activity has led to increasingly tough sanctions and sparked renewed speculation that Israel, Tehran's arch-enemy, might bomb Iranian nuclear installations.

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Jon Boyle)