The International Atomic Energy Agency's latest round of negotiations with Iran ended today without any real progress made toward restarting investigations into Iran's nuclear program, reports the AP. The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany head to Tehran later this month for direct talks, and those countries had hoped that an Iran-IAEA deal would indicate that Iran would be ready to compromise when they all sit down.
Had it compromised on the IAEA probe, Iran could have argued that the onus was now on the six powers to show some flexibility, temper their demands, and roll back US and European sanctions. The main sticking point is reportedly Iran's insistence that any investigation not be open-ended and that it be allowed to look at the intelligence gathered so far by the United States and other IAEA members. Talks with the IAEA are scheduled to resume in February, but some observers worry that the delays are just stalling tactics from Iran. (Read more Iran stories.)