Iran: IAEA "subordinate" to West
Published Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Iran on Wednesday accused the UN's nuclear body of being "subordinate" to Western powers, but said they were still optimistic of reaching a deal during upcoming talks.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is holding a new round of talks with Iran in Vienna on Friday, has been seeking access to the Parchin base near Tehran, where it believes suspicious explosives testing has been carried out.
Iran has denied the IAEA demands, insisting the site is of no significance to its nuclear program.
Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said he hoped a "common denominator" would be found during talks with the body, but criticized the IAEA as being under the control of Western nations.
"We'll try to continue to work on the text of a structural approach. Hopefully we will be able to conclude it," he told journalists on the sidelines of the closed-door meeting.
"Unfortunately the agency, which is supposed to be an international technical organization, is somehow playing the role of an intelligence agency," he said.
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said after visiting Iran in May that Tehran would soon sign a deal to allow greater access to sites, documents and people involved in its nuclear program – but no such agreement has yet emerged.
Soltanieh said that "rather than welcoming the recent visit of" Amano, Western nations "questioned it...and this is not constructive at the eve of a meeting in Moscow or while we are determined to work intensively with the IAEA to find a solution on how to deal with the unresolved issues."
The European Union on Wednesday called on Iran to sign an accord with the IAEA as soon as possible.
"We call on Iran to conclude the agreement without further delay," the EU said in a statement to the meeting of the IAEA board of governors being held in Vienna this week.
"The EU has once again to stress the importance of granting early access to all sites, persons and information as and when requested by the agency," the statement said, making particular reference to a military base at Parchin.