Sunday , April 2 2023

IAEA Head Grossi visits Iran for nuclear talks


TEHRAN: The head of the global nuclear watchdog is holding talks in Tehran in an effort to reach an understanding with Iran on nuclear safeguard issues that could also affect the country’s 2015 nuclear deal, which collapsed in 2018.

Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), landed in the Iranian capital on Friday evening and met with Mohammad Eslami, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

The two continued their talks on Saturday and also held a joint press conference.

Grossi then met with foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, before meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Raisi “presented cooperation as a two-sided affair which can continue based on maintaining the independence of the agency and realizing the rights of the Iranian people,” the president’s deputy for political affairs, Mohammad Jamshidi, said.

Grossi is expected to hold another press conference when he returns to Vienna later on Saturday.

The trip, the first in months, comes days ahead of the IAEA’s next Board of Governors meeting on Monday, where there is a chance the United States and its European allies could pursue another resolution to censure Iran.

Amid reports that it has opposed a European push for another resolution, Washington has said it will wait for the results of Grossi’s trips to decide its next move.

Eslami told reporters on Saturday that Tehran will announce a response if the Western parties to the nuclear deal decide to move ahead with what would be their third resolution in the past year.

Iran boosted its nuclear enrichment efforts and curbed IAEA monitoring in response to the previous two resolutions.

The agency confirmed last week that traces of uranium enriched to the near-weapons grade level of 84 percent have been found in Iran and that it will need to discuss this further with Tehran.

Iranian officials have said the fact that “particles” of higher-enriched materials have been found does not mean it is actively enriching beyond its declared 60 percent level. (Int’l News Desk)

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