Grossi to Visit Iran Soon

Grossi to Visit Iran Soon
Grossi to Visit Iran Soon

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi is expected to visit Iran soon and will meet the country’s top nuclear chief as well as the foreign minister, according to a senior diplomat.
“Grossi has been invited to travel to Tehran and a date has been suggested for his trip … we are waiting for his response,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a regular press briefing on Monday, ISNA reported.
If he agrees to Iran’s proposed date, he will meet not only the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami, but also Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, according to the spokesman.    
He said the IAEA head has close relations with both the AEOI and Iran’s Embassy in Vienna, Austria.
“Technical ties between Iran and the agency are on a very good course as always,” he said, adding that these relations must be allowed to run their normal course.
Grossi, who was hoping to visit Iran once again as agreed during his September trip, expressed disappointment on Friday that no invitation had been made.
He said it was astonishing that he has had no contact with the new Iranian government since it took office, except for “technical conversations” with Iran’s new atomic energy chief Mohamed Eslami.
“There’s a long list of things we need to discuss,” he had said, according to AFP.  
The IAEA has been trying to resolve several issues with Iran, including restrictions on its inspections activity.
Iran limited the agency’s monitoring of its facilities in February as part of countermeasures against the United States’ withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and its reimposition of sweeping sanctions.  
Grossi negotiated a last-minute compromise to keep cameras recording at key nuclear sites in Iran, temporarily forgoing examination of their footage until a possible removal of US sanctions.
He traveled to Iran in September for technical consultations about the IAEA’s access to its monitoring equipment, but agreed that he would be returning to carry on with the discussions, potentially centering on political aspects.

Outstanding Issues

As a result of September talks, the agency was able to service cameras and replace memory cards at all sites in Iran, aside from the TESA Karaj complex.
The workshop in Karaj makes components for centrifuges, but was hit by apparent sabotage in June in which one of four IAEA cameras there was destroyed.
Iran blames the sabotage on Israel, demanding condemnation by the international community and the IAEA.
Another outstanding issue between the agency and Iran relates to questions the agency has about uranium traces allegedly found at several old sites.
The IAEA says Iran’s explanations have not been satisfactory so far.
Grossi was hoping to travel to Tehran before the next meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors starts on Nov 22, where discussion on those issues could lead to a resolution critical of Iran.
Such censure motion could negatively affect the progress of talks on the revival of Iran’s nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The negotiations aim to bring both the US and Iran back to full compliance and are set to restart on Nov. 29, after a five-month pause due to a change of government in Iran.




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