AEOI spokesman: IAEA director general to visit Iran in coming days

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran’s spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi (file photo)

The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says the head of the UN nuclear watchdog will visit Iran in coming days on an official invitation from AEOI’s chief, Mohammad Eslami.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Behrouz Kamalvandi said, “During past days, we had constructive and promising talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency's delegation, which was headed by Massimo Aparo, the IAEA's deputy director general and head of the Department of Safeguards.”

He added that pursuant to those talks, Eslami “officially invited Director General of the IAEA Rafael Grossi to pay a visit to Iran. This trip will take place in coming days.”

The Iranian nuclear official noted that more details about Grossi's visit would be provided to media soon.

Kamalvandi expressed hope that the visit would prepare the ground for more cooperation between Iran and the IAEA.

Iran’s nuclear chief on Wednesday said the IAEA officials are in Tehran and talks are underway to resolve ambiguities related to an “incorrect” report by an agency inspector about Iran’s nuclear program.

On February 1, the UN nuclear agency accused Iran of making an undeclared change to the interconnection between the two clusters of advanced machines enriching uranium to up to 60 percent purity at its Fordow plant.

The AEOI immediately rejected the report, noting that the inspector had made an “incorrect” interpretation.

Iran FM hopes Grossi's visit leads to progress on technical issues

Earlier on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian expressed hope that the country and the IAEA would make good progress regarding technical issues during Grossi's forthcoming visit to Tehran, if there were no political pressure on the UN nuclear watchdog.

Amir-Abdollahian, who is in Geneva to take part in the annual meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, made the remarks in a meeting with his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto.

The top Iranian diplomat also touched on the negotiations held to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying that since last September Iran was ready for the revival of the agreement and the return of all parties to their obligations.

"However, the dual approach adopted by Americans and their subsequent miscalculations regarding the recent riots in Iran disrupted the process of achieving an agreement," Amir-Abdollahian added.

Iran’s top diplomat expressed hope that in view of the messages that have been exchanged between the JCPOA parties and recent diplomatic moves, all parties would return to the contents of the agreement signed in 2015.

Iran proved the peaceful nature of its nuclear program to the world by signing the JCPOA with six permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany. However, Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in May 2018 and its subsequent re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran left the future of the deal in limbo.

Negotiations between the parties to the deal kicked off in Vienna in April 2021, with the intention of bringing the US back into the deal and putting an end to its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

The discussions, however, have been at a standstill since August 2022 due to Washington’s insistence on not lifting all of the anti-Iranian sanctions and offering the necessary guarantees that it will not exit the agreement again.

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