Tehran’s Mixed Messages on U.N. Nuclear Talks

January 24, 2013

            Iranian and U.N. officials failed to produce an agreement after intensive talks in Tehran from January 16-17. Iran has sent mixed messages on negotiations with the International Atomic Energy (IAEA). Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh claimed the two sides bridged some gaps during the talks. But later he said Iran would not stop uranium enrichment “even for a moment” and that the IAEA should cope with reality by accepting Iran’s nuclear rights.
            IAEA Deputy Director General said “differences remain” and that Iran did not grant access to the Parchin military complex. The IAEA suspects Iran conducted tests at Parchin related to building a nuclear bomb. Negotiators may revisit the issue in the next round of talks scheduled for February 13. The following are statements by U.N. and Iranian officials on the nuclear talks.

IAEA Deputy Director General for the Department of Safeguards Herman Nackaerts
            “We had two days of intensive discussions…Differences remain, so we could not finalize the structured approach to resolve the outstanding issues regarding possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program... What I can also say is that on this occasion no access was granted to Parchin.” January 18
Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh
            Success in the talks between Iran and the G5+1 [six world powers] depends on the IAEA coping with realities and accepting Iran’s nuclear rights.”
            “Everybody knows that the allegations against Iranian peaceful nuclear activities are made with political motives… Iran is ready to offers its nuclear experiences, through the IAEA, to those developing countries that are willing to have the know-how.” January 23 to IRNA
            Iran will not stop uranium enrichment “even for a moment.” January 19 to IRNA
            “Some of the differences were solved but it is very complex issue… No agreement has been signed but the negotiations are progressing…We hope that they take our considerations into the document; it is good opportunity to reach an agreement...”
            “All together there were eight members of the delegation. We held, in a very constructive friendly environment, intensive talks about all aspects of this [nuclear] matter. I have to say that, we have gone forward…”
            “We had two days of intensive talks and we were able to in fact bridge the gap to some extent, but whether we were able to finally sign it; no, which is very natural because we will do it only when both sides come to the conclusion that major concerns are incorporated.” January 18
Member of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi
            “If the agency [IAEA] gives up the game and puzzle of the Western countries, it can act successfully in its negotiations with Iran… It is the Islamic Republic of Iran’s expectation from the international body to act within the IAEA regulations and the Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT) so that talks will be fruitful.” January 23 to parliamentary news agency ICANA
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast
            “Obligations of the other party must be clearly specified. If a claim is to be raised on a spot in Iran every day and [the IAEA] seeks to visit our military facilities under such a pretext ... this issue will be unending.” January 16