Israel’s hostile acts should not affect Iran-IAEA ties: Nuclear chief

Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami (R) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi shake hands before a press conference in Isfahan on May 7, 2024. (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says Israel’s “hostile” acts should not affect the interaction between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Speaking during a meeting with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi in Isfahan on Tuesday, Mohammad Eslami warned against attempts by “ill-wishers” to devalue and paint a black picture of Iran’s cooperation with the UN nuclear agency.

“Hostile measures against Iran, with a Zionist root, should be watched so as they do not affect the interaction between the two sides,” he said.

“The nature of the [Israeli] regime has been exposed to the world… and this is the same nature that supports a destructive trend against Iran.”

In March 2023, Iran and the IAEA issued a joint statement in which both sides recognized that bilateral positive engagements can pave the way for wider agreements among state parties.

They also agreed that bilateral interactions will be carried out in a spirit of collaboration, and in full conformity with the competencies of the IAEA and the rights and obligations of Iran based on the comprehensive safeguards agreement.

Eslami hailed his “constructive” talks with Grossi and described last year’s joint statement as a roadmap for cooperation between Iran and the IAEA.

He also emphasized that Iran will continue its interaction with the IAEA in three areas, saying, the first one is related to the past issues, with a focus on solving the issue of two locations.

“The second one is about the current situation and following up expectations and shortcomings within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Safeguards Agreement... The responsibility for third one lies on Grossi and he should take steps for the future.”

At a news conference in Isfahan later in the day, Grossi said he had proposed “very practical and tangible measures" to speed up cooperation between the IAEA and Iran.

“What we are looking at is concrete measures that could make this operational,” he said.

Eslami again stressed that the talks with the IAEA chief had been positive and productive, calling on Grossi to take "necessary actions to settle the problems that are mainly political."

“We continue interactions over unresolved issues,” he added.

Over the past years, Iran has recorded many achievements in its peaceful nuclear energy program in defiance of US sanctions as well as hurdles created by the West.

The country has also been closely cooperating with the IAEA as a signatory to the NPT.

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