IAEA Chief: ‘Positive’ Technical Talks in Tehran Facilitate Future Cooperation

IAEA Chief: ‘Positive’ Technical Talks in Tehran Facilitate Future Cooperation
IAEA Chief: ‘Positive’ Technical Talks in Tehran Facilitate Future Cooperation

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi described his talks with Iranian nuclear officials in Tehran as “positive”, saying they can pave the way for future peaceful cooperation.
“Positive cooperation between Iran and the IAEA for continuation of the agency’s technical operations is very important and provides a guarantee for Iran and the world that positive agreements will continue in the future,” he told reporters in Tehran on Sunday, ISNA reported.
The nuclear watchdog chief arrived in Tehran on Saturday night to meet the new head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami for technical talks.
The parties recalled and reaffirmed the spirit of cooperation and mutual trust and its continuation and emphasized the necessity of addressing the relevant issues in a constructive atmosphere and exclusively in a technical manner, according to an IAEA statement.
Eslami said the meeting was constructive, stressing the importance of mutual trust for Iran.
“It is also essential that the agency play a more effective role toward the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and assist in the advancement of the country’s nuclear technology,” he said.
The two officials agreed to carry on with their negotiations in Vienna, on the sidelines of the IAEA General Conference next week, before Grossi returns to Tehran in near future for further top-level consultations with Iranian authorities.
It was also agreed in the meeting that IAEA inspectors be permitted to come to Iran to service the identified equipment and replace their storage media.
The old memory cards will be kept under the joint IAEA and AEOI seals in Iran as per the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, according to Eslami.

Urgent Access

In recent reports about Iran, the IAEA had complained about the lack of progress on two issues, one being access to monitoring equipment and the other regarding uranium traces allegedly found at several old sites.  
Iran has suspended its voluntary adherence with the Additional Protocol to the CSA, ending a platform for IAEA snap inspections.
The move was in line with the country’s reciprocal steps beyond the limits of the 2015 nuclear deal, after the United States abandoned the agreement and reimposed tough sanctions.
To leave room for diplomacy, however, Tehran agreed to keep the recorded data and share it with the agency if the US sanctions were removed by a deadline.
The report said while the agency needs to access the surveillance equipment every three months, it had not had access since May 25.
It stressed that IAEA inspectors urgently need access to the equipment to swap out memory cards so there are no gaps in its observation of activities.
The document also regretted that the issue about uranium particles has remained unresolved.
The reports raised speculations about a push by the US and its European allies for a resolution at the upcoming meeting of the 35-nation IAEA Board of Governors against Iran.
While western countries made no reference to such decision, Russia’s representative to IAEA described it as “not only senseless, but detrimental”, adding Moscow would vote against a possible resolution.
Such censure motion could also make it harder to resume talks on the revival of the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  
Indirect negotiations are underway between Iran and the US in Vienna, Austria, to work out how the two sides can come back to compliance with the JCPOA.
The talks have been halted since June, after the presidential elections brought a conservative government to power in Iran.

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