TEHERAN (TIP): Iran has again denied a request by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to allow its experts to visit a suspected nuclear site in the country. Iranian nuclear officials and a team of IAEA experts met in Tehran Thursday, December 13 for talks on Iran’s controversial nuclear program for the first time since August. Press TV cited Iran’s envoy to the IAEA Ali Soltaniyeh as saying that the sides failed to reach an agreement Thursday over a visit by the experts from the UN nuclear watchdog to the Parchin military base, 30 km from the capital Tehran.
The IAEA suspects Iran of having conducted nuclear tests at the Parchin site. Tehran has dismissed the allegations as “baseless propaganda”. Tehran insists that Parchin is a sensitive military, but non-nuclear, facility and cannot be subject of inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog. The sides agreed to hold a next round of talks in Tehran Jan 16, 2013. Western nations and Israel are seeking to persuade Iran to give up its uranium enrichment program, which they suspect is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is merely designed to generate energy.