AFP: The United States said Monday it did not expect a breakthrough in the nuclear dispute with Iran despite a pledge by Tehran to develop a blueprint with the UN atomic watchdog to resolve the crisis.
WASHINGTON, June 25, 2007 (AFP) – The United States said Monday it did not expect a breakthrough in the nuclear dispute with Iran despite a pledge by Tehran to develop a blueprint with the UN atomic watchdog to resolve the crisis.
After the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it would send inspectors to Iran “as early as practicable” to develop an action plan for resolving issues over its sensitive nuclear program, Washington questioned the Islamic republic’s track record in meeting its commitments.
“I don’t think Iran’s track record is particularly noteworthy or particularly likely to give me or anyone else confidence that anything will come of these of the discussions,” said Tom Casey, a spokesman with the State Department.
The IAEA move followed talks between the UN agency’s director general Mohamed ElBaradei and Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Larijani in Vienna and amid plans by Britain and the United States to step up sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear program.
Larijani had undertaken to define within two months an action plan with the IAEA, which is demanding the possibility of checking on the ground whether Iran’s nuclear program has military ambitions as claimed by Western powers.
Casey noted that there were already statements by Iranian officials indicating that the action plan “may not actually lead to a lot” but said that Washington would “wait and see what actually happens.
“We certainly like to see them comply but to date they haven’t,” he said of the IAEA’s demands for comprehensive inspections in Iran.
Tehran has so far been slapped with two sets of UN Security Council sanctions and faces a third for its refusal to suspend sensitive enrichment work.
The oil-rich country insists it only wants to make nuclear fuel to meet its growing energy demands.
On discussions with allies on imposing additional UN Security Council sanctions on Iran, Casey said they were continuing.
“Certainly, people are discussing ideas and elements for a resolution and hopefully we will be moving forward on that in the not too distant future.”