Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Latest from Iran (13 December): Nuclear Talks with the IAEA

0840 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. The European Parliament has presented the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Conscience in absentia to lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and filmmaker Jafar Panahi.

Sotoudeh, who recently ended a 49-day hunger strike, is in Evin Prison serving a six-year sentence. Panahi is under perpetual threat of having to serve a six-year term and is banned from leaving the country.

Nobel Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, whom Sotoudeh has defended in court, accepted the award: "These two empty seats symbolize the repression of the Iranian regime with its citizens."

Ebadi read a thank-you letter from Sotoudeh, who dedicated the prize "to all the political prisoners of Iran and the world": "The struggle for human rights will not end, even though they take us to jail. The torch of freedom will never go out."

Filmmaker Costa Gavras read the thank you text from Panahi dedicated the prize to "all the anonymous fighters for freedom, to all those who are fighting for peace in the whole world".

0820 GMT: Senior officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency will hold talks today with Iranian officials in the long-running discussion of an agreement over inspection and supervision.

Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts heads a seven-member technical delegation. The Iranian group will include its IAEA envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh.

IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said that a deal was imminent, but it was sidelined amid stalemate in high-level talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers over Tehran's uranium enrichment. The IAEA last met with the Iranians on 24 August, in a discussion in Vienna.

Since then, the headline issue --- fed by Western diplomats --- has been the question of access to the Parchin military base. US and European officials allege that the Iranians are using a high-explosive container there in important research and development of a military use for enriched uranium.

State outlet Press TV writes, "The UN nuclear agency’s delegation is not scheduled to visit Iran’s nuclear facilities." It says nothing about Parchin.

 

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

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