By Parisa Hafezi DUBAI (Reuters) -U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi said on Tuesday he wanted to deepen cooperation with Iran in his talks in Tehran, days before the resumption of negotiations between the Islamic Republic and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week issued reports […]
IAEA’s Grossi says in Iran that he wants to deepen cooperation
By Parisa Hafezi
DUBAI (Reuters) -U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Rafael Grossi said on Tuesday he wanted to deepen cooperation with Iran in his talks in Tehran, days before the resumption of negotiations between the Islamic Republic and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week issued reports detailing its conflicts with Iran, from rough treatment of its inspectors to re-installing cameras it deems “essential” for the revival of the nuclear deal.
“The agency is seeking to continue and deepen the dialogue with the government of Iran…We agreed to continue our joint work on transparency and this will continue,” Grossi, who arrived in Tehran on Monday, told a televised news conference.
Tehran and Washington will resume indirect negotiations on Nov. 29 in Vienna – on hold since June – to find ways to reinstate the deal abandoned in 2018 by then-U.S. President Donald Trump, who then reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran.
Tehran responded by breaching key limits on nuclear activity set by the accord, including rebuilding stockpiles of enriched uranium, refining it to higher fissile purity and installing advanced centrifuges to speed up output.
A failure of diplomacy to bring back Tehran and Washington into compliance with the nuclear deal could raise the risk of a fresh regional war.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett signalled readiness on Tuesday to step up Israel’s confrontation with Iran and reiterated that his country would not be bound https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-signals-readiness-escalate-iran-confrontation-amid-nuclear-talks-2021-11-23 by any new nuclear deal.
In September, Western powers at the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors scrapped plans for a resolution against Iran after Tehran agreed to prolong monitoring of some nuclear activities.
But they still demand Iranian action on two central issues – explaining uranium traces found at three undeclared sites and granting IAEA inspectors access to the TESA Karaj centrifuge component manufacturing workshop to replace the agency’s surveillance cameras there.
The workshop was the victim of apparent sabotage in June in which one of four IAEA cameras there was destroyed. Iran has not returned that camera’s “data storage medium” and the IAEA said it had asked Iran to locate it and explain.
“Some questions were raised based on documents published by our enemies. These questions have now been answered,” Iran’s nuclear chief, Mohammad Eslami, said after meeting with Grossi.
Grossi later met for the first time with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who urged the IAEA to “continue to cooperate with Iran in the context of its technical duties, and avoid taking political positions”, state media said.
Diplomats say no action is likely to be taken against Iran when the IAEA board convenes on Wednesday, for fear of harming the nuclear talks between Iran and world powers.
Grossi had been due to hold a news conference upon his return to Vienna on Tuesday night but it was cancelled with less than an hour’s notice. No reason was given. He will hold a separate, long scheduled news conference at 12:30 p.m. (1130 GMT) on Wednesday.
(Additional reporting by Francois Murphy in ViennaWriting by Parisa HafeziEditing by Nick Macfie, Alison Williams and Mark Heinrich)