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Iran, IAEA to cooperate on unresolved issues: Atomic chief

Mohammad Eslami serves as Deputy President and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. (File photo)

Iran’s top nuclear energy official says the Islamic Republic will continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to resolve disputed issues surrounding its nuclear program.

Mohammad Eslami, who serves as head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said on Wednesday that Iran had sorted out almost half of the issues raised by the IAEA about its nuclear sites.

“...two sites remain, which are in the process of being resolved and the deputies from the two sides are negotiating and interacting on them based on the plan we have agreed upon,” Eslami told reporters on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting in Tehran.

He said ongoing work between Iran and the IAEA is completely separate from stalled negotiations that are aimed at reviving a 2015 international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, known as the JCPOA. 

His remarks came days after IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi visited Iran to attend a major nuclear science conference and to hold talks with senior officials of the country.

Grossi and Iranian officials have described bilateral meetings in Tehran as positive.

In an interview with the Financial Times published on Tuesday, Grossi said that he had seen a desire in the Iranian authorities for engaging in serious negotiations with the IAEA.

That comes against the backdrop of some media reports and statements by Western government officials suggesting Iran is not willing to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog because it has not benefitted from the JCPOA. 

Eslami said in his Wednesday remarks that a “Joint Statement” he made with Grossi in March 2023 to outline the road ahead for cooperation between Iran and the IAEA is still valid.

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