The United States called on Iran on Monday to take "urgent practical steps" to build confidence during nuclear talks with world powers, and the European Union said Tehran must suspend sensitive atomic activities.
File photo of U.S. envoy Robert Wood attending an IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna., Photo: Reuters/Herwig Prammer
Iran and the six powers resumed discussions in mid-April in Istanbul after a gap of more than a year - a chance to ease escalating tension and help to avert the threat of a new Middle East war.
The major powers - the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany - and Iran are to meet again on May 23 in Baghdad.
"We remain concerned by Iran's persistent failure to comply with its nonproliferation obligations," U.S. envoy Robert Wood told an international nuclear conference in Vienna, attended also by Iran.
"We seek a sustained process that produces concrete results, and call on Iran to take urgent practical steps to build confidence and lead to compliance with all its international obligations," Wood added.
At the same meeting, the 27-nation European Union said in a joint statement that Iran "must suspend" its uranium enrichment activities - something Tehran has repeatedly refused to do.
The West says Iran's nuclear work is a cover for developing atomic bombs and wants verifiable assurances to the contrary from Tehran - for example, by accepting much more intrusive U.N. inspections and curbing its enrichment capacity.
Israel and the United States have not ruled out military action to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons if diplomacy fails to resolve the long-running row.
Iran denies having a weapons agenda, saying it is enriching uranium solely for peaceful energy purposes, not for bombs.
The week before the broader political negotiations take place in Baghdad, the U.N. nuclear agency and Iran will hold a new round of discussions on May 14-15 in Vienna after two meetings earlier this year failed to make any headway.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) wants Iran to address questions raised in a report it issued last November detailing what it said were suspected Iranian research and development activities relevant to making nuclear weapons.
Iran has dismissed the allegations as fabricated.
Western diplomats say Iran appears to be stonewalling an IAEA request for access to a military site, Parchin, where it believes military-related nuclear research may have taken place.
The diplomats say they suspect Iran may be "sanitising" the site southeast of Tehran of any incriminating evidence before U.N. inspectors can visit, a suspicion Tehran dismisses.
Wood said: "We are concerned that Iran has not agreed to grant the IAEA access to all relevant sites, information, documents and persons necessary to resolve questions about its nuclear program."
"We stress the urgent need for Iran to reach agreement with the IAEA on a structured approach ... to resolve all outstanding issues," Wood, acting head of the U.S. mission to the Vienna-based IAEA, added.
|< Prev||Next >|
» Sweden key partner for U.S. spying on Russia: TV
» Walmart to open stores in US capital despite protest
» Cuba suspends consular services in U.S., blames embargo
Latest Category Posts
- ASEAN insurance regulators’ meeting wraps up
- Indonesia becomes first country to receive AIF loan
- ADB supports rural Cambodian communities’ energy access
- Cambodia, Russia beef up parliamentary relations
- Make-or-break WTO meeting goes down to the wire
- US teacher shot dead in Libya's Benghazi
- Anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela dies aged 95
- H7N9 cannot infect humans easily: study
- 'Fast and Furious' star died of impact, fire
- NSA tracks mobile phone locations worldwide: report
Random Category Picks
- Sorrentino hopes new movie will make Oscar shortlist
- Out of Asia: earliest big cat found in Tibet
- Thalidomide class action settled in Australia
- Cuba suspends consular services in U.S., blames embargo
- Australian scientists use 3D printing for improving racehorse's performance
- Kuwait offers $1 bn in soft loans to Africa states
Popular Category Posts
- Women in 15 nations need spouse's okay to work
- Mexican storm death toll jumps to 130
- Kenyan troops try to save mall hostages as battle enters third day
- Pakistan earthquake death toll rises to 348 as 20 more bodies recovered
- 93 killed as 7.7 magnitude earthquake hits SW Pakistan
- Israel showcases Iranian spy case as Netanyahu visits U.S.
- Gunfire erupts at Kenyan mall, 59 dead in Islamist attack
- 51 killed in clashes in Egypt amid war anniversary celebration
- Conservation 'tragedy' as endangered kiwis die in New Zealand zoo
- American, two Russians take shortcut to space
- Iran's FM says nuclear talks 'constructive'
- Death toll in Nigeria plane crash hits 15
- UN panel in final push for new climate report
- 'At least 28 dead' in Nigeria college shooting
- Syria attack probe ends ahead of disarmament mission
- Fonterra confirms talks with Danone over botulism scare damages
- World population to shoot up to 9.7 billion in 2050: study
- Syria arms inspectors face unprecedented danger: UN
- UN Security Council okays plan to rid Syria of chemical weapons
- Thirty million people are slaves, half in India: survey