Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:43PM
Kaveh Afrasiabi in interview with Press TV

Kaveh Afrasiabi in interview with Press TV

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is running out of excuses for refraining to normalize Iran’s nuclear case, a political scientist tells Press TV. On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said recent talks in Tehran between the Islamic Republic and IAEA officials were positive, the two sides reached common grounds on most issues, and the outstanding issues will be discussed in the next meeting scheduled for January 13. “I definitely concur with the Foreign Minister Dr. Salehi that this is a positive development that sets the right tone for nuclear negotiations that are planned for 2013. This is the technical meeting that I understand cleared the path for a new modality for cooperation between Iran and the IAEA,” Kaveh Afrasiabi told Press TV in an exclusive interview on Monday. Afrasiabi referred to the IAEA’s requests to access the Parchin site, which is located outside the Iranian capital, “despite the fact that they have visited it twice back in 2005 without finding anything suspicious.” “Most likely, again, they will not find anything unusual or suspicious and, in turn, this will clear the path for the normalization of Iran’s nuclear file,” he noted. The Boston-based analyst said the consequent normalization would affect the multifaceted talks between Iran and the P5+1 -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany -- to be held in the near future. “The IAEA is running out of excuses for avoiding the mandate to normalize Iran’s file, and I think this, although it’s not directly related to the multilateral talks, will have a positive effect on it,” he stated. Afrasiabi criticized the US Treasury Department’s move to impose new sanctions on several Iranian companies as well as individuals coinciding with the Tehran-IAEA talks. “If there was good faith on the part of the US, they wouldn’t engage in such sinister activities aimed at torpedoing progress in the nuclear talks,” he said. The expert, however, expressed optimism that increased cooperation between Iran and the IAEA and Tehran’s efforts to show greater transparency and to address the IAEA’s concern will positively affect the climate for the multilateral talks, and “make it harder for countries such as the US to be such spoilers.” The US, Israel and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran refutes the allegation and argues that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and an IAEA member state, it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. MRS/SS
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