IAEA, Iran agree to expedite resolution of outstanding safeguards issues

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VIENNA, March 4 : The International Atomic Energy Agency and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran agreed Saturday that inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog would conduct more verifications of the nature of Iran’s nuclear program. During his visit to Iran on March 3-4, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi met President Ebrahim Raisi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Vice-President of the Islamic Republic and President of the AEOI Mohammad Eslami.

“These high-level meetings addressed the importance of taking steps in order to facilitate enhanced cooperation, to expedite as appropriate the resolution of outstanding safeguards issues,” a joint IAEA-AEOI statement noted following Grossi’s visit. Both sides recognize that such positive engagements can pave the way for wider agreements among state parties. They agreed that “Interactions between the IAEA and Iran will be carried out in a spirit of collaboration, and in full conformity with the competences of the IAEA and the rights and obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, based on the comprehensive safeguards agreement,” the statement noted. Regarding the outstanding safeguards issues related to the three locations, Iran expressed its readiness to continue its cooperation and provide further information and access to address the outstanding safeguards issues.

“Iran, on a voluntary basis will allow the IAEA to implement further appropriate verification and monitoring activities,” according to the statement. “Modalities will be agreed between the two sides in the course of a technical meeting which will take place soon in Tehran,” it added. The visit of the IAEA chief to Tehran came one year after his last trip when both sides were close to a deal to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of July 2015. It took place just two days ahead of the Monday meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, slated to focus on concerns relating to Iran’s effort to enhance uranium enrichment to weapon grade. (KUNA)

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