Wednesday, May 18, 2022

IAEA chief: Talks with Iran made no progress

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, says time is running out for the UN atomic watchdog to re-install cameras at a centrifuge-parts workshop in Iran.

Rafael Gross said the agency will soon be unable to guarantee equipment is not being diverted. He also said during his latest visit to Tehran, the two sides failed to make any progress in their negotiations over the issue. Grossi said the IAEA must reach an agreement with Iran. He was speaking the day after a trip to Tehran. Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has said Tehran and the agency have agreed to continue consultations.

Behrouz Kamalvandi said the talks between the IAEA’s chief Rafael Grossi and Iranian officials in Tehran took place in a constructive atmosphere and the two sides reached a general agreement on how to pursue issues of mutual interest.

The most pressing issue is gaining access to the centrifuge-parts workshop at the TESA Karaj complex, near Tehran.

The Karaj site came under a terrorist attack in June, which Iran blames on Israel. Iran says the site is off limits as long as the attack is being investigated by judicial and security officials.

All this comes as Iran and the 4+1 group of countries are preparing to resume talks aimed at removing sanctions against the Islamic Republic in a few days. Iran says it will view the negotiations meaningful only if they result in lifting the bans that were put in place by the US under former president Donald Trump.

Iran also says if the US is serious about returning to the nuclear deal, known as JCPOA, it must first remove the sanctions.

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