IAEA President Grossi opens second day of talks in Iran on nuclear cooperation

© Reuters. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi meets with Iranian Atomic Energy Agency (AEOI) Chief Mohammad Eslami in Tehran, Iran on March 3, 2023.Atomic Energy Agency of Iran/WANA/Handa

[Reuters]- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general Rafael Grossi will hold a second day of talks in Iran on Saturday, urging the country to cooperate with an investigation into traces of uranium found in undeclared locations. Aimed at.

Grossi, who arrived in Tehran on Friday for a two-day visit, held a second meeting with Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran’s nuclear energy agency, Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA reported.

A nuclear watchdog report seen by Reuters said the visit was to discuss the origin of uranium particles at Tehran’s Fordow enrichment plant, enriched to a purity of up to 83.7%, very close to weapons grade, with Tehran. It was done while I was there.

“The issue of monitoring the performance, status and capabilities of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear industry is the most important goal on the agency’s agenda,” IRNA quoted Eslami as saying before meeting with Grossi on Saturday. .

Iran decided to “reduce its commitments” because “the parties failed to deliver on their commitments” in the 2015 nuclear deal.

Under an agreement signed with six major powers of the world, Iran had suppressed its nuclear program in exchange for relief from US, European Union and UN sanctions.

But former US President Donald Trump scrapped the deal in 2018 and reinstated tough US sanctions, and about a year later Iran began violating the deal’s nuclear restrictions.

Eslami said Wednesday that production in the Islamic Republic is at 60%.

“The issue of safeguards, as well as technical and legal disagreements between Iran and the IAEA, remain on the agenda of these meetings,” IRNA said in a commentary on Friday, but did not elaborate. I didn’t touch it.

Iran’s obstruction of the IAEA’s long-running search for traces of uranium found at three undeclared sites prompted the United Nations Watchdog’s 35-member board to pass a resolution at its final quarterly meeting in November, urging Tehran to ordered to cooperate with the investigation urgently.

That cooperation has not materialized and Grossi hopes a meeting with hardline President Ebrahim Raisi will help smooth the way to ending the deadlock, European diplomats say. The next quarterly meeting of the Society will start on Monday.

(dubai.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com; edited by Himani Sarkar)

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