Rafael Grossi
Rafael GrossiLev Radin/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi said on Wednesday that outstanding issues between Iran and the IAEA will not be wished away, Reuters reports.

Speaking to reporters at the United Nations, Grossi added that he hoped to meet with Iranians in a few days.

“These issues are not going to be wished away. The IAEA has limited access to Iran's nuclear facilities. ... We are ready to re-engage with Iran,” he stressed.

The IAEA has long sought answers from Iran on uranium traces at undeclared sites.

In June, Iran began removing essentially all the agency's monitoring equipment, which was installed under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, as it continues to scale back its compliance with the deal.

Grossi said at the time this could deal a "fatal blow" to chances of reviving the deal following 2018's pullout by the United States.

Just two weeks ago, the IAEA released a report which found that Iran has 55.6 kg of uranium which has been enriched to 60%.

The amount of highly enriched uranium has increased by 12.5 kilos since the IAEA's last quarterly report, published on May 30. According to the IAEA, 42 kg of uranium enriched to 60% is needed to produce one nuclear bomb.

Grossi’s comments come as indirect talks between Tehran and Washington on a return to the 2015 deal appear to be at a stalemate.

Iran recently announced it had submitted its comments to the US response to the European Union’s draft for reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

While Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at the time that Iran’s response was prepared based on a constructive approach, a senior Biden administration official told Politico, “We are studying Iran’s response, but the bottom line is that it is not at all encouraging.”

A senior European official directly involved in nuclear talks with Iran later told Axios’ Barak Ravid that Iran’s latest response to the EU’s proposal is unreasonable and indicates that the Iranians are not interested in closing a deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said recently that Iran's position in the negotiations has not been changed, claiming that "the only obstacle to an agreement is the lack of realism and necessary determination on the part of America."

Western diplomats have said there are no active negotiations at the moment and it is unlikely that a breakthrough could happen before the US midterm elections in November.