Rafael Grossi
Rafael GrossiLev Radin/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi arrived in Iran Monday, where he is expected to speak at a conference and meet officials for talks on Tehran's nuclear program, AFP reported.

The visit comes at a time of heightened regional tensions and with the UN atomic agency criticizing Iran for lack of cooperation on inspections and other outstanding issues.

News agencies reported Grossi's arrival "at the head of a delegation to participate in the nuclear conference and negotiate with top nuclear and political officials of the country".

He met with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and is scheduled to meet Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Mohammad Eslami, according to AFP.

Grossi wrote on social media that at his meeting with the foreign minister he proposed "concrete practical measures" with the "aim of restoring process of confidence building and increasing transparency".

Grossi is also expected to deliver a speech at Iran's first International Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology, which began on Monday.

Grossi last visited in March 2023 and met top officials including President Ebrahim Raisi.

The visit 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.