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UN Atomic Inspectors, Iran Fail to Bridge Differences

United Nations atomic inspectors returned from Tehran without a deal after two days of negotiations with Iranian officials over broader access to suspected nuclear sites.

Iran refused to let the International Atomic Energy Agency team visit the Parchin military complex, where intelligence given to the IAEA suggests nuclear work took place, said chief inspector Herman Nackaerts. The sides will meet again on Feb. 12, he said, without providing more details.

“We had two days of intensive discussions,” Nackaerts told journalists today at Vienna International Airport. “Differences remain, so we could not could not finalize the structured approach to resolve the outstanding issues regarding possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Failure to clinch a deal doesn’t come as a surprise. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano warned on Jan. 11 that negotiations with Iran would be difficult. The agency is in its 10th year of an investigation into whether the Islamic Republic ever sought nuclear-weapons capabilities. Iran, under dozens of international sanctions, maintains it never tried developing atomic weapons.

The Tehran discussions were the eighth round of meetings in the last year aimed at giving inspectors more access to people, places and documents in the Persian Gulf nation.

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