AEOI chief: Iran stands committed to Safeguards regulations, bound to comply with NPT

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami (L) shakes hands with International Atomic Energy Agency’s Director General Rafael Grossi on the sidelines of the 66th annual regular session of the IAEA’s General Conference in the Austrian capital of Vienna on September 26, 2022. (Photo via social media networks)

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami has reaffirmed the Islamic Republic’s commitment to the Safeguards Agreement and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), stressing that Tehran will continue to facilitate the UN nuclear agency’s monitoring of the country’s activities as in the past.

Eslami made the remark after attending the 66th annual regular session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s General Conference in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Thursday as he elaborated on the results of his participation in the event and his meetings with senior foreign officials, including IAEA’s Director General Rafael Grossi.

The Iranian official said he had met and conferred with Grossi and his deputies over remaining issues concerning Iran’s nuclear activities, also reviewing the cooperation between the UN nuclear watchdog and the AEOI.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is always bound to comply with Safeguards regulations and we are also committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; we facilitate the [International Atomic Energy] Agency's supervision of our activities in accordance with the Agency's regulations and will do so in the future,” Eslami told reporters.

“Iran prepares the ground for continued cooperation with the IAEA regarding nuclear activities and does it in a reassuring manner, and the IAEA has time and again acknowledged it,” he added.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic was prepared to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog on resolving the remaining questions concerning its nuclear activities as long as the agency’s approach to the country was purely technical in nature.

The convention of the 66th annual regular session of the IAEA’s General Conference comes amid stalled talks in Vienna on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was unilaterally abandoned by the United States in 2018.

In exiting the JCPOA, the US initiated a “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran, prompting the Islamic Republic to reduce its nuclear commitments in a legal move stipulated under the deal itself.

Constructive meetings with Russian, Hungarian delegations

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran also said he had held talks with the members of a delegation from Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on the sidelines of the international conference.

“We talked and exchanged opinions about joint cooperation between Iran and Russia and in the context of speeding up the construction of the second and third power plants,” Eslami said, referring to his meeting with the Rosatom delegation.

Pointing to his talks with the Hungarian foreign minister, Eslami said Tehran and Budapest have long-lasting research, scientific and educational relations.

The Iranian official also said a Hungarian delegation is set to visit Iran in the future to look into ways for implementing mutual agreements.

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