VIENNA - The UN nuclear watchdog chief accused Iran on Thursday of seeking to "tie our hands" and of spreading incorrect information about talks between his inspectors and Tehran, in unusually blunt public criticism that highlights strained ties.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, gave a frank account of two rounds of meetings between a senior IAEA team and Iran in January and February that failed to produce any breakthrough in the nuclear dispute.
The UN agency wanted Iran to start addressing its mounting concerns that the Islamic state may be seeking to develop technology relevant to making nuclear weapons, but the IAEA team returned to Vienna empty-handed.
"Before the recent talks in Tehran, I had hoped that Iran had recognized that its old restrictive approach was not the way forward and that Iran was ready to engage with us to resolve outstanding issues," he said in a statement to reporters.
"However on the last day of the February talks, Iran reverted to the old approach and sought to reimpose restriction on our work."