IAEA headquarters
IAEA headquartersiStock

The head of Iran's atomic energy agency said on Saturday he will meet next week with the chief of the UN's nuclear watchdog, as attempts to revive the country's nuclear deal stall.

"I will go to Austria to take part in the annual general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, where I will meet with Director General Rafael Grossi," Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Mohammad Eslami told state television, as quoted in the AFP news agency.

The Vienna-based IAEA's annual conference takes place this year from September 26-30.

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.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said this past week that the outstanding issues between Iran and the IAEA will not be wished away.

“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 three sites that the IAEA seeks answers on represent a key sticking point in negotiations to restore the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Iran has repeatedly said it wants the IAEA to drop its interest in the three sites -- a position that the nuclear watchdog says lacks credibility.

"I hope that my talks will put an end... to the false accusations about certain (nuclear) sites stemming from political pressure and psychological operations exerted against Iran," Eslami added on Saturday.

The 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.”

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.