Merkel: IAEA, Iran not progressing

Latest sanctions prompted a deterioration in relations.

July 21, 2010 17:22
1 minute read.

IAEA. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Iran is not working seriously with the International Atomic Energy Agency in discussions over its nuclear program, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday.

Reuters reported that speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Merkel said she viewed the outcome of negotiations with Iran with skepticism, given the lack of progress made so far.

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Last month, Iran announced its parliament was working on a "top priority bill" which would limit the country's ties with the IAEA. According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, the move came as a response to the new sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic.

"The bill to revise Iran's relations with the IAEA is being drafted," the news agency quoted Iranian foreign policy chief Alaeddin Borujerdi as saying.

Iran has remained defiant in the wake of the latest round of sanctions, passed in June.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the sanctions as “annoying flies” that were as useless as “used tissues.” Other officials said Iran would not halt its uranium enrichment.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian parliament’s powerful National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, described the sanctions as “political, illegal and illogical” and said lawmakers would quickly “begin a revision of Iran’s relations” with the IAEA. He did not say what options were to be discussed but a revision could result in restricting IAEA inspectors’ access to Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, said imposing new sanctions “is not constructive, and will destroy the grounds for solving the current crisis” with the West.

Iranian officials said the new sanctions will do little more than harden the country’s resolve to move ahead with the nuclear program. Iran says the program is aimed at peaceful uses while the US and other Western nations strongly suspect it is aimed at developing weapons.

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