IAEA chief says he seeks common ground in Tehran talks to deepen cooperation

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi (R) attends a joint press conference with the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Mohammad Eslami, in Tehran, on November 23, 2021.

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi says he seeks common grounds to deepen mutual cooperation between the UN nuclear agency and Iran, days before the resumption of talks in the Austrian capital city of Vienna on the removal of the United States’ sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

“We agreed to continue our joint work on the clarification of a number of issues. We also agreed to continue and deepen the dialogue with the government of Iran. As you know, I have the honor to meet the [Iranian] foreign minister in a couple of hours,” Grossi said at a joint press conference with head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Mohammad Eslami, in Tehran on Tuesday.

He noted that his work in Tehran has been “intense.”

“We are continuing our negotiations at this point with the view of finding common grounds. There are a number of issues that we are working on. We will multiply our efforts with the view of concluding our exchanges today on a positive note. We are working very hard,” the UN nuclear chief pointed out.

Eslami, for his part, said Iran is determined to pursue its civilian nuclear activities, stressing that Tehran’s nuclear activities are in full compliance with international regulations and treaties.

He stressed that the AEOI is set to resolve technical issues with the IAEA concerning their cooperation, away from the politicization of the matter.

Eslami highlighted that the UN nuclear watchdog has testified that there is no diversion in Iran’s nuclear work and that it will not consider plots hatched by Iran’s adversaries to politicize cooperation between the two sides.

“What is of paramount importance is that Iran is strong-minded to pursue its nuclear program. Utilization of all aspects of nuclear technology is high on our agenda and the IAEA will provide assistance in this regard,” the senior Iranian official said.

Eslami underscored that Iran intends to generate at least 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, especially by means of small power plants with a maximum production capacity of 300 megawatts.

He said the IAEA will encourage and support countries that possess relevant technology and industries to help Iran boost its nuclear power generation.

Grossi arrived at Imam Khomeini International Airport on Monday evening and was received by the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi.

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman called on the IAEA not to allow certain countries to abuse its name for the sake of achieving their own political objectives.

“We have always advised the agency to remain on the path of technical cooperation, and not to allow some countries to advance their political agendas and political objectives using the name of the agency,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

“I hope this trip would be constructive like the previous ones,” he noted.

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