Friday, 14 December 2012

The Latest from Iran (14 December): An Advance in the Nuclear Talks?

0640 GMT: Sanctions Watch. The US has added several individuals and entities to its sanctions blacklist over Iran's nuclear programme.

The headline name is that of Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, the head of the Iran Atomic Energy Organization. The seven companies listed are FaraTech, the Neda Industrial Group, Aria Nikan Marine Industry, Towled Abzar Boreshi, Iran Pouya, Terjerat Gostar, and Tarh O Palayesh.

0625 GMT: We opened Thursday with expectation, as talks began in Tehran between a high-level delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iranian officials. For most of the day, however, there was an absence of news, with not a word on developments over the discussions about inspection and supervision of the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme and facilities.

Then late last night Iranian State media finally put out a signal, at least from Tehran's vantage point: Iran's IAEA envoy, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, hailed an agreement --- to meet again.

Soltanieh said, “At the end of this meeting, both sides agreed to have the next meeting on 16th of January. This round of talks was constructive and good progress was made."

There were no details about the “intensive" talks, however, except for this not-so-positive note: Soltanieh said the two sides had failed to reach agreement over the IAEA's demand to visit the Parchin military site.

Parchin has become the headline symbolic issue in the Iran-IAEA relationship, with US and European officials insisting that the Agency must establish if the facility houses a high-explosive container which could be used for the testing of atomic matierials for military use.

The IAEA has yet to put out a statement about the talks.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

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