IAEA confirms Grossi visiting Iran within days

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi attends a news conference during a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, June 7, 2021. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi will visit Tehran next week to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, the body has confirmed. The visit will take place just days before fresh round of nuclear negotiations in Austria’s Vienna.

The United Nation nuclear watchdog head will hold meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran on Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed on Thursday.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), told state media on Wednesday Grossi would meet Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and nuclear energy chief Mohammad Eslami.

The IAEA did not say in its statement whom Grossi would meet.

“We can confirm that Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi will meet with high-level Iranian government officials in Tehran on Tuesday, 23 November,” the IAEA announced.

The visit will be on the eve of a quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors and before indirect talks between Iran and the United States on Nov. 29 on reviving their nuclear deal.

Two IAEA reports to member states on Wednesday detailed a range of conflicts between the agency and Iran, ranging from Tehran’s continued failure to explain the origin of uranium particles found at apparently old but undeclared sites, to its refusal to let the IAEA re-install surveillance cameras at a workshop hit by apparent sabotage in June.

Iran has stopped observing some conditions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) in 2019, after the United States withdrew from the plan in 2018 under then President Donald Trump and began imposing sanctions on Tehran.

The head of AEOI has said the IAEA should not turn into a plaything for terrorist groups.

Eslami stated “nuclear terrorism” has levelled accusations against Iran’s nuclear program using “seditious ploys and … undocumented evidence”.

“Such behaviour has become threadbare,” noted Eslami.

He also weighed in on the level of uranium enrichment in Iran, stressing Tehran remains committed to regulations within the framework of the Additional Protocol and lives up to its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, and uranium is enriched to a level which could be used for peaceful projects,” he added.

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