IAEA Experts to Visit

IAEA Experts to Visit
IAEA Experts to Visit

The ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency has announced that an IAEA delegation will travel to Iran next week to hold discussions with nuclear officials.

IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards Tero Varjoranta will head the delegation, Reza Najafi told IRNA on Friday.

He also expressed regret over the fact that the visit was disclosed by a Western media outlet while Iran and the IAEA were planning for the meeting.  

 Confidential Information Should Be Protected

It indicates that Iran’s concerns about spying activities in the agency are justified, he said, adding the IAEA should meet its commitment to protect confidential information.     

Reuters on Thursday quoted diplomats as saying the UN nuclear agency is expected to make a new attempt soon to advance its investigation into Iran’s nuclear program. They said experts of the UN nuclear watchdog and Iran may meet early next week in Tehran, with the IAEA seeking to achieve progress in its inquiry into what it calls possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran denies the allegation that it may have been seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons and says its nuclear work is only meant for peaceful purposes, such as electricity generation and medical applications. Western officials say Iran should step up cooperation with the IAEA if it wants to reach a broader diplomatic deal with the major powers that would end a decade-old nuclear dispute and gradually end financial and other sanctions on the country.

Early last month, the IAEA said Iran had failed to answer questions by an agreed August 25 target date about two areas of the investigation - alleged experiments on explosives that could be used for an atomic device and also alleged studies related to calculating nuclear explosive yields.

Iran says that it has started addressing the two remaining issues and that the target date was not met due to the complexity of the issues.   

  Increased Cooperation

Tehran has increased its cooperation with the IAEA to ease concerns over its nuclear activities since Hassan Rouhani became president last year on a platform to improve the country’s international relations.

Rouhani’s election raised hopes of a solution to the stand-off with the West after years of rising tension. An interim accord was reached between Iran and the six major powers - the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China, and Russia - in Geneva last November. But they did not meet a self-imposed July target date for a long-term accord and now face a new deadline of November 24. Both sides said little headway was made in overcoming significant disagreements at the most recent round of talks that ended on September 26 in New York. Western officials say that although there is no chance of the IAEA inquiry being completed before the scheduled end of the six-power talks, some of the sanctions relief Iran is seeking would probably depend on its cooperation with the UN agency.