May, 04 2012 11:16:41

Nuclear powers stress 'urgent' Iran cooperation with IAEA

VIENNA – The United States, China, Russia, France and Britain reiterated their call on Thursday for Iran to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog over its disputed nuclear programme.

"We remain concerned by Iran's persistent failure to comply with its obligations under UNSC (UN Security Council) resolutions and to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors Resolutions," the five powers said in a statement on the sidelines of a non-proliferation meeting in Vienna.

"We stress the need and urgency for Iran to reach an agreement with the IAEA on a structured approach, including on access to relevant sites and information... to resolve all outstanding issues, particularly those relating to possible military dimensions" of Tehran's nuclear programme," they added.

These demands were already spelled out in a resolution adopted by the board of the governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in November, they noted.

The document was then approved by the 35-member board after an IAEA report said it had "credible" information that the Islamic republic was working on a nuclear bomb, something Tehran has consistently denied.

Thursday's statement by the five permanent UN Security Council members comes just as the IAEA has confirmed it will resume talks with Iran on May 14 and 15 in Vienna over the country's nuclear programme.

Talks had been frozen since two IAEA visits to Iran in February, when the agency complained it was denied access to the Parchin military site near Tehran, where explosives testing for warhead research allegedly took place.

The West believes Iran is trying to develop an atomic bomb under cover of its civilian programme although Tehran insists the programme is solely peaceful. -- afp

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