Call for Iran to open military site

2012-03-08 15:39

Vienna - Six world powers called on Iran on Thursday to let international inspectors visit a military site where the UN nuclear watchdog says development work relevant to nuclear weapons may have taken place.

In a joint statement at a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the powers also voiced "regret" about Iran's stepped-up campaign to enrich uranium - activity which can have both civilian and military purposes.

"We urge Iran to fulfil its undertaking to grant access to Parchin," the statement said, referring to the military facility southeast of Tehran. Iran refused access to the complex during two rounds of talks with a senior IAEA team earlier this year.

Western diplomats suspect the Islamic state may now be trying to clean up the site to remove evidence of research with nuclear applications before possibly allowing inspectors in.

The six powers handling the Iran nuclear issue are the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain.

An IAEA report last year revealed a trove of intelligence pointing to research activities in Iran of use in developing the means and technologies needed to assemble nuclear weapons, should it decide to do so.

One salient finding was information that Iran had built a large containment chamber at Parchin in which to conduct high-explosives tests that the IAEA said are "strong indicators of possible weapon development".

Diplomatic solution

Iran, which says its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes, has dismissed intelligence reports suggesting it has a nuclear weapons agenda as forged and baseless.

It has suggested that the IAEA could get access to Parchin, but only after a broader deal is reached on how to address all outstanding issues between Tehran and the Vienna-based agency - an approach Western diplomats dismissed as a stalling tactic.

The world powers' statement, agreed after intensive discussions within the often disunited group, also voiced backing for efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the long-running row.

Israel and the United States have threatened Iran with military strikes as a last-ditch way to stop it getting nuclear weapons.

The European Union's foreign policy chief, who represents the powers in dealings with Iran, said on Tuesday they had accepted Iran's offer to return to talks after a standstill of a year that seen increasingly bellicose rhetoric.

"We ... reaffirm our continuing support for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue and readiness to restart dialogue with Iran," the powers said in their statement, read out by China's envoy to the IAEA at the closed-door meeting.

"We call on Iran to enter, without preconditions, into a sustained process of serious dialogue which will produce concrete results." Iran has refused at previous talks to negotiate on the future of its nuclear activity.

  • phathuchicos - 2012-03-08 15:52

    Does America allow intruders in its millitary facities?

      Juan - 2012-03-08 16:18

      Iran is a leading sponsor of terrorist groups. Now what would happen if they give one of their terrorist friends a nuclear weapon?

      Fred - 2012-03-08 16:23

      It does. You should inform yourself before writing inflammatory remarks like this. In terms of the nuclear weapons pact the US entered into with Russia, inspectors ensure the the agreed-upon reductions in nuclear weapons by both parties are in fact carried out. It's standard procedure. Why do you target the US and not the other five countries mentioned in the article? Isn't it boring and dumb to keep at this obsessive line of thought?

      Deon - 2012-03-08 16:26

      Iran is probably taking the gap left by the Old Libya.

      Nosiphom - 2012-03-08 16:49

      Prove it Juan, we know Iraq also had WMD's, but this could never be proven. Who inspects Israeli sites. Iran is surrounded by American military bases. They are being threatened by America, and not the other way around. Iran has a right to defend itself against agressors, even if through the use of deterent A-bombs!

      Fred - 2012-03-08 17:05

      Nosiphom, that's delusional rubbish. You're projecting your pseudo-victimhood onto the situation, and this is dangerous. The rogue Iranian regime routinely threatens to destroy Israel, denies the occurrence of the biggest attempt at human genocide in the history of humankind, adjusts election results to hold onto power, and thinks nothing of stoning women to death for being attractive. Regimes like this must NEVER be allowed to have nuclear weapons. They should not exist in 2012.

      charlmeyer - 2012-03-08 17:22

      @ Fred I am not going into a discussion in regards to this topic, the complexities outreach the scope of these blogs, all i ask of you is to kindly stop spewing the same statement everytime, as a South African living in Iran married to a stunningly sexy Persian women, pls stop this 'thinks nothing of stoning a women for been attractive", last time i check my wife is still attractive and very much alive running a successful business. To quote you: "you should inform yourself" pls. The rest of your rehtoric is your right, but that stoning part for being attractive is a little over the top, dont you think ;)

      Fred - 2012-03-08 17:28

      The Iranian and Syrian regimes are the last two terrorist regimes of the Middle East, major funders of terrorism, autocratic, violent, oppressive, and ultra-chauvinistic.

      Fred - 2012-03-08 18:12

      Charlie, as a South African living in Iran I think you'll know that the stoning of women is an on-and-off affair in the Iranian regime. It is only recently, in 2008, that the judiciary outlawed it, but it still happens, and Ahmadenijad is known to favor it, as do other senior regime officials. A woman was sentenced as recently as 2010 for enticing a man with good looks leading to adultery. You should not be blind to the violent oppression of women in Iran. It is reprehensible, goes far beyond chauvinism in the Jewish religion, which is reprehensible too.

  • Buti - 2012-03-08 17:26

    Again the cowards want to disarm Iran 1st so that they can go & kill the innocent pple and call themselves the superpowers. These are the worse goofus countries who feel unhappy if they don't drink other people's blood

      Fred - 2012-03-08 18:59

      Become informed and change your obvious pseudo-victimhood. Then you'll see what's really going on.

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