IAEA head urges more contacts with Iran government

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has announced it was “astonishing” that he has had no contact with the new Iranian government on several issues over Tehran’s nuclear programme. He has called for more contacts between the two sides.

The IAEA Director General on Friday raised concerns about the fact that the IAEA has yet to be contacted by Iran’s new government to discuss several outstanding disputes regarding nuclear activities.

Rafael Grossi said it was “astonishing” that President Ebrahim Raisi’s government had not been in contact since its election win in June.

“I have not had any contact with this government … that has been there for more than five months,” Grossi told reporters on the sidelines of a conference on nuclear security on Friday.

“I think that we should have had this contact much earlier… There’s a long list of things we need to discuss,” he added.

The IAEA chief stated the only exceptions had been “technical conversations” with Iran’s new atomic energy chief, Mohammad Eslami.

Grossi, who had been hoping to visit Iran before the next meeting of the IAEA’s board of governors starts on November 22, is still waiting for an invitation.

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 the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (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, who is also the vice president.

He also weighed in on the level of uranium enrichment in Iran, saying 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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