The White House expressed disappointment Wednesday that Iran had made no progress in its dealings with UN nuclear inspectors, branding the fruitless visit a “failure” on Tehran’s part.
“We regret the failure of Iran to reach an agreement with the IAEA,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. “It’s another demonstration of Iran’s refusal to abide by its international obligations.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency said it had gone into the two-day visit to Tehran — and a previous, inconclusive one last month — in a “constructive spirit,” but said no agreement was reached on efforts to elucidate Iran’s nuclear activities.
Despite requests, “we could not get access” to Iran’s military site in Parchin where suspected nuclear warhead design experiments were conducted, the leader of the IAEA team, chief UN inspector Herman Nackaerts, said on his return to Vienna, while IAEA chief Yukiya Amano described Tehran’s refusal to allow the Parchin inspection as “disappointing.”
The United States and Europe have been ramping up economic sanctions on Iran since November, when the IAEA published a report crystallizing — though not entirely validating — Western suspicions it was pursuing nuclear weapons research in Parchin and elsewhere.
Iran repeatedly has said the sanctions will not deter it from its nuclear ambitions, and it has threatened to strike back at any military action, possibly by closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz.