IAEA chief to visit Iran before the end of November

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi says he intends to visit Tehran “soon” to discuss specific concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.

Elad Benari ,

Rafael Grossi
Rafael Grossi
Reuters

The head of the UN’s atomic watchdog plans to visit Iran before the end of next month amid questions about whether Iran will return to negotiations aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, The Associated Press reports.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi said Tuesday he intends to visit Tehran “soon” to discuss and hopefully resolve specific concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.

On a visit to Washington, Grossi told reporters that he expects to go to Iran before the next meeting of the IAEA board of governors in late November.

Grossi’s visit to Tehran has not yet been scheduled but his comments came as world powers are stepping up pressure on Iran to return to talks intended to bring both Iran and the United States back into compliance with the deal.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal it signed with world powers in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

The previous Iranian government, headed by former President Hassan Rouhani, had been holding indirect talks with the Biden administration on a return to the agreement.

However, the negotiations were adjourned on June 20, two days after Ebrahim Raisi won Iran's presidential election, and no date has been set for a resumption of dialogue.

Last week, EU political director Enrique Mora, the chief coordinator for the talks, visited Tehran to meet members of Iran's nuclear negotiating team.

After Mora's visit, Iran's foreign ministry said it would hold talks in the coming days with the EU in Brussels. An EU official later said that Iran is not ready to return to talks with world powers over its nuclear program yet.

On Monday, Raisi said that the United States should lift the sanctions on his country to prove it is serious about restarting stalled nuclear talks in Vienna.

“Lifting sanctions is an indication of seriousness of the other party,” he stated.



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