Soltanieh revealed that two senior IAEA officials had accepted a key Iranian demand in the most recent negotiating session last month on a "structured agreement" on Iranian cooperation on allegations of "possible military dimensions" of its nuclear program -- only to withdraw the concession at the end of the meeting.
The issue was Iran's insistence on being given all the documents on which the IAEA bases the allegations of Iranian research related to nuclear weapons which Iran is expected to explain to the IAEA's satisfaction.
The Feb. 20 negotiating text shows that the IAEA sought to evade any requirement for sharing any such documents by qualifying the commitment with the phrase "where appropriate."
At the most recent meeting on Aug. 24, however, the IAEA negotiators, Deputy Director General for Safeguards Herman Nackaerts and Assistant Director General for Policy Rafael Grossi, agreed for the first time to a commitment to "deliver the documents related to activities claimed to have been conducted by Iran," according to Soltanieh.
At the end of the meeting, however, Nackaerts and Grossi "put this language in brackets," thus leaving it unresolved, Soltanieh said.
Former IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei recalls in his 2011 memoirs that he had "constantly pressed the source of the information" on alleged Iranian nuclear weapons research -- meaning the United States -- "to allow us to share copies with Iran." He writes that he asked how he could "accuse a person without revealing the accusations against him?"
ElBaradei also says Israel gave the IAEA a whole new set of documents in late summer 2009 "purportedly showing that Iran had continued with nuclear weapons studies until at least 2007."
Soltanieh confirmed that the other unresolved issue is whether the IAEA investigation will be open-ended or not.
The Feb. 20 negotiating text showed that Iran demanded a discrete list of topics to which the IAEA inquiry would be limited and a requirement that each topic would be considered "concluded" once Iran had answered the questions and delivered the information requested.
But the IAEA insisted on being able to "return" to topics that had been "discussed earlier," according to the February negotiating text. That position remains unchanged, according to Soltanieh. The Iranian ambassador quoted an IAEA negotiator as asking, "What if next month we receive something else -- some additional information?'"
"If the IAEA had its way," Soltanieh said, "It would be another 10 or 20 years."
Soltanieh told IPS a meeting between Iran and the IAEA set for mid-October had been agreed before the IAEA Board of Governors earlier this month with Nackaerts and Grossi.
The Iranian ambassador said the IAEA officials had promised him that Director General Yukia Amano would announce the meeting during the Board meeting, but Amano made no such announcement.
Instead, after a meeting with Fereydoun Abbasi, Iran's Vice President and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Amano only referred to the "readiness of Agency negotiators to meet with Iran in the near future."
"He didn't keep the promise," said Soltanieh, adding that Iran would have to "study in the capital" how to respond.
Soltanieh elaborated on Abassi's suggestion last week that the sabotage of power to the Fordow facility the night before an IAEA request for a snap inspection of the facility showed the agency could be infiltrated by "terrorists and saboteurs."