No Deal Worries Russia
IAEA Director Yukiya Amano said today he was not optimistic on gaining access to Iran's Parchin military base to investigate allegations that it is being used to build nuclear weapons. Amano said it was unclear, and probably unlikely, that the Iranian government would allow IAEA investigators access to Parchin.
“Negotiating with Iran is quite a challenge,” Amano said. “A step forward doesn't necessarily lead to another step forward. After making a step forward, there could be two steps backward, or even three steps backward. We don't know if we can resolve the remaining.” (AP, 11 January)
“The outlook is not bright,” Amano added.
Meanwhile, Russia expressed concerns on Friday that no date or venue had been agreed for the new round of talks between the six major powers and Iran.
“This alarms us, because the pause has dragged on,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. “As a nation and a member of the 'group of six' we are working actively to find a solution.” (Reuters, 11 January)
Sources told Reuters that Iran has not responded to a date proposed by EU. The European Union said last week that it had proposed a date to Iran but Iran had yet to respond.
“It is our understanding that Iran has not responded to the Jan. 15 date,” the diplomatic source said. (Reuters, 11 January)