Access to Parchin military site unlikely

A high-level delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has arrived in Tehran to work out a plan to resolve the remaining concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme.

The seven-member delegation that arrived on Thursday is led by Herman Nackaerts, Deputy Director-General of the IAEA. Talks behind closed doors were held later in the day.

The IAEA has said it is looking for a “structured approach” to resolve outstanding concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. The Agency also wants its inspectors to get wider access to Iranian nuclear sites and personnel.

Ahead of his departure, Mr. Nackaerts brought into focus Iran’s Parchin military site where, the IAEA fears, testing of explosives to trigger a nuclear device might have been carried out. Iran has rubbished these claims.

“We also hope that Iran will allow us to go to the site of Parchin, and if Iran would grant us access we would welcome that chance and we are ready to go,” Mr. Nackaerts told reporters at Vienna airport ahead of his visit.

But reports in the Iranian media said the IAEA delegation would not be allowed to visit Parchin. Iran’s ISNA news agency reported that “no inspection or visit” would take place “for now”.

On Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast said “Iran’s nuclear rights as well as its peaceful nuclear activities” would be the focus of discussions.

But “certain issues that have possibly become a source of concern for [IAEA] officials can also be discussed”, he observed.

Iran and the IAEA had last held talks in Vienna on May 14-15. Analysts point out that the ongoing technical dialogue is crucial, for IAEA’s inputs feed into and shape the political dialogue between Iran and the six global powers — Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

  • IAEA looking for a “structured approach”

  • IAEA fears Parchin is used for testing triggers