Diplomats say that little new came out of IAEA-Iran talks

February 2, 2012 15:40

VIENNA - UN nuclear experts' talks in Iran appear to have made little concrete progress, diplomats said on Thursday, setting the stage for a crucial second round this month over Western fears Tehran may aim to build atomic weapons.

Three days of discussions in Tehran which ended on Tuesday were a rare direct dialogue in the long-running international dispute, which has deepened as the West pursues a punitive embargo on Iranian oil and Tehran threatens retaliation. There are fears the confrontation could lead to a military conflict.

Senior officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency plan to return to Tehran for more discussions on February 21 and 22 after holding what both sides publicly described as good talks.

"It does seem to us that there has just been no indication of any substantive progress during this meeting, that Iran was very focused on process and modalities and not engaging the IAEA on answering the questions or providing the information and access that they have been asking for," one envoy said.

Another diplomat described the latest talks as "long, intensive discussions about procedures, issues, but no discussion on concrete issues".

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