Iran, UN nuclear chiefs meet in Tehran after IAEA’s controversial report

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami (R) and Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi meet in Tehran on March 3, 2023. (Photo by

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) have held crucial discussions in the Iranian capital.

The UN nuclear watchdog's Chief Rafael Grossi arrived in Tehran on Friday to hold talks with senior Iranian officials with technical nuclear issues high on the agenda. The Argentinean diplomat is also due to hold talks with President Ebrahim Raeisi during his two-day visit.

Grossi was greeted at the airport by Behrouz Kamalvandi, the AEOI spokesman, upon his arrival and rushed to meet the Iranian nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami.

Details of their discussion were not immediately available. This is Grossi’s fourth visit to Iran since assuming office in December 2019 and comes ahead of the IAEA Board of Governors meeting on Monday.

Iran and the IAEA are at odds over several issues concerning the country's nuclear activities. The UN nuclear watchdog said in a confidential quarterly report that it had detected particles of uranium enriched to 83.7 percent during an inspection of the Fordow nuclear facility on January 22.

On Wednesday, Eslami rejected the accusation, asserting that there has been “no deviation” in Iran's peaceful nuclear activities.

“Regarding the 84% particle, which was a sample from the side of a tap in the process, the particle cannot be even seen with a microscope. What is important is the amount of material that is stored after production,” the AEOI said.

Grossi's important visit can help end the deadlock in the talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran has welcomed technical cooperation with the IAEA as it is manifested by the inspectors’ regular visits to Iranian facilities, despite the fact that these inspectors are not allowed to inspect nuclear facilities in Israel.

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