Rafael Grossi
Rafael GrossiLev Radin/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will travel to Iran next week as Tehran’s nuclear program enriches uranium a step away from weapons-grade levels and international oversight remains limited, officials said Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

Rafael Grossi’s visit will coincide with a nuclear energy conference Iran will hold in the central city of Isfahan, which hosts sensitive enrichment sites and was targeted in an attack attributed to Israel on April 19.

Grossi’s visit will take place on May 6 and 7, the Vienna-based agency said. It did not elaborate on his schedule or his meetings.

The visit also comes amid ongoing tensions between Iran and the IAEA over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Between June and November last year, Iran slowed down the enrichment to 3 kg per month, but jumped back up to a rate of 9 kg at the end of the year, the IAEA previously reported.

The increase came soon after Tehran barred a third of the IAEA's core inspections team, including the most experienced, from taking part in agreed monitoring of the enrichment process.

Grossi said in February that Iran continues to enrich uranium well beyond the needs for commercial nuclear use despite UN pressure to stop it.

At the time, the IAEA chief said that while the pace of uranium enrichment had slowed slightly since the end of last year, Iran was still enriching at an elevated rate of around 7 kg of uranium per month to 60% purity.

The IAEA has also long sought answers from Iran about two sites near Tehran that inspectors say bore traces of man-made uranium.