The UN nuclear watchdog said on Friday it had made no progress in talks with Iran to finalize a deal on easing an investigation into suspected nuclear weapons research by Tehran and it called the outcome "disappointing."
Herman Nackaerts, global head of inspections for the International Atomic Energy Agency, said after Friday's meeting at IAEA headquarters in Vienna that no date for further talks on the matter had been set.
The United States, European powers and Israel want to curb Iranian atomic activities they suspect are intended to produce nuclear bombs. Tehran says the aims of its nuclear program are purely civilian.
Word of inability to achieve progress in nuclear talks seemed to counter the optimism expressed by the IAEA late last month, when the UN nuclear watchdog's chief Yukiya Amano said following a meeting with Iranian representatives that a deal to end the nuclear standoff would "be signed quite soon."
"(A) decision was made to conclude and sign the agreement... I can say it will be signed quite soon," Amano told reporters at Vienna airport after returning from Tehran.
Amano, who had been looking for a deal giving his inspectors a freer hand to investigate suspected atomic bomb research in Iran, described the outcome of his meetings in Iran as an "important development."
He said "some differences" remained but that Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili had told him these would not pose an obstacle to an agreement.
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