IAEA chief visits Iran, will meet senior officials

The visit comes ahead of deadline on which Iran said it would suspend nuclear inspections by the agency.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

IAEA headquarters
IAEA headquarters

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, arrived on Saturday in Tehran ahead of the deadline on which Iran said it would partly suspend nuclear inspections by the agency, The Associated Press reported.

Grossi will meet Iranian nuclear officials including Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the country´s nuclear department and a vice president to President Hassan Rouhani.

Iran informed the IAEA this past week that it plans to halt snap nuclear inspections outside of its declared sites as of February 23.

The announcement came day after a spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry threatened that the Islamic Republic would stop snap inspections from the IAEA if other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers do not fulfill their “obligations” by later this month.

Iran has consistently scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from it in 2018.

Current President Joe Biden has expressed a desire to return to the 2015 agreement but has stressed he would return to the 2015 agreement if Iran returned to compliance with it.

Salehi said on Saturday that he and Grossi will meet on Sunday to discuss the agency’s "concerns" over the halt of the inspections as well as Iran´s cooperation with the agency.

The IAEA has said that Grossi’s visit is aimed at finding "a mutually agreeable solution for the IAEA to continue essential verification activities in the country."

On Friday, diplomats said that the IAEA had found uranium particles at two Iranian sites it inspected after months of stonewalling.

The UN nuclear watchdog is reportedly preparing to rebuke Tehran for failing to explain the presence of the particles.