IAEA inspectors will arrive in Tehran on Thursday to press Iran on access to the suspected Parchin military site. IAEA suspects that concerted cleanup work at the site by the Iranians could soon make it difficult to find evidence of any nuclear weapon research there. (Reuters, 10 December)
A series of talks between Iran and IAEA this year has failed to make any headway on the subject. Thursday’s talks will be watched closely across the globe if Tehran may now be more willing to engage with IAEA and provide definite answers to the work at Parchin.
“I have no sense that Iran wants an agreement. Iran wants the issue to go away,” an unnamed Western envoy Vienna told Reuters today, predicting “another nothing meeting.”
But IAEA Director Yukiya Amano said last week that the agency’s inspectors still wanted to go to Parchin, despite apparent Iranian efforts to “sanitize” the site, including demolition of buildings, tearing down of fences and a removal of soil that has been replaced with new dirt.
“I cannot guarantee that we can find something or not. But I continue to believe that having access is very useful to have a better understanding of past and current activities at Parchin,” Amano said. (Reuters, 10 December)