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IAEA says it can't confirm Iran nuclear program is peaceful

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“The pressure track does not mean that the engagement track is closed,” Glyn Davies, the US Ambassador to the IAEA, said in a recent Monitor interview in Istanbul. “But we are looking for Iranian bona fides. There is such an overhang of issues, it would require a significant change by [the] Iranians.”

The recent back-and-forth with Iran over its nuclear program "has been maximally frustrating" because of the mixed messages from Tehran, said Amb. Davies.

On Monday, Iran took issue with Amano’s remarks. “We have fully cooperated with the agency. This cooperation will continue,” said Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

Tougher sanctions?

Analysts expect this week's meeting of the IAEA’s governing board to pave the way for a tougher, fourth set of UN sanctions against Iran as it tussles with the IAEA over unresolved issues that point to a weaponization effort, but are based on US and Western intelligence that Iran says is fabricated.

Efforts by the Obama Administration to engage Tehran in 2009 were set back in part by the violence and political paralysis that have consumed Iran in the aftermath of disputed presidential elections last June.

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