UN Nuclear Chief: As several important dates approach, the chief of the UN nuclear watchdog will visit Tehran on Monday to discuss Iran’s nuclear programme, according to the spokesman for Iran’s atomic agency. Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), expressed alarm on November 12 over the absence of interaction with the Iranian leadership, calling it “astonishing.” He had wanted to meet Iranian officials ahead of the IAEA’s Board of Governors meeting on November 22, he said. Three days later, Iran reacted by inviting the UN nuclear chief to visit Tehran.
Grossi will meet Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Mohamed Eslami, according to the spokeswoman. Grossi said he had technical discussions with Eslami during his last visit to Tehran in September.
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Grossi’s visit comes ahead of the reopening of nuclear talks, which have been delayed since June, on November 29 in Vienna. The negotiations are aimed at reviving a 2015deal that exempted Iran from sanctions in exchange for significant restrictions on its nuclear programme. The remaining signatories to the pact, Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia, will attend the Vienna discussions, while the United States will participate in negotiations indirectly. Under President Donald Trump’s administration, the US unilaterally dropped out of the agreement in 2018, but efforts to resurrect it began early this year.
An Iranian official said on Wednesday that UN nuclear inspector chief Rafael Grossi will visit Iran next week, as Tehran and international powers prepare to resume discussions on resurrecting a 2015 nuclear deal. “Grossi will arrive in Tehran on Monday,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, according to Iranian state media. Grossi’s travel comes just before of the 35-nation Board of Governors meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)next week.
After Tehran agreed on Sept. 12 to extend monitoring of some nuclear activity and invited Grossi to Tehran for negotiations on outstanding problems, Western powers postponed plans for a board resolution criticizing Iran in September. During his visit, Grossi will meet with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and the country’s nuclear leader, according to Kamalvandi.