UN nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow Headway: Diplomats

UN nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow Headway: Diplomats
The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday, three days before a deadline for cooperation.

Under an accord reached by the U.N. agency and Iran in November -- an attempt to revive the long-stalled investigation -- Tehran agreed in May to carry out five specific steps by Aug. 25 to help allay international concerns. They include providing information about two issues - for example, alleged explosives experimentation - that are part of the inquiry by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into what it calls the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme, which Tehran says is peaceful.

The diplomatic sources said Iran and the IAEA may have begun discussing the two topics, but they did not believe Tehran had provided the requested information or explanations yet.

They said there was still time for Iran to implement the measures, noting that it had occasionally waited until the last minute to make concessions in the past.

But slow-paced cooperation would tend to reinforce Western impressions that Iran is reluctant to give the IAEA the information and access to sites and people that it says it needs for its investigation.

There was no immediate comment from the IAEA or Iran. Iran denies the nuclear programme has any military objectives, but it has promised since Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist, was elected Iranian president in mid-2013 to work with the IAEA to clarify its concerns.


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