Talks with IAEA chief in Tehran were con­struc­tive: Iran


Talks with the UN nu­clear watch­dog's chief were con­struc­tive, Iran's top nu­clear of­fi­cial Ali Ak­bar Salehi was quoted as say­ing on Tues­day, af­ter meet­ing Rafael Grossi dur­ing a visit to seek ac­cess for in­spec­tors to two sus­pected for­mer atomic sites.

Grossi, who heads the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency, wants Iran to let his in­spec­tors into the sites be­cause the agency sus­pects they could still host un­de­clared nu­clear ma­te­rial, or traces of it. "Our con­ver­sa­tion to­day was very con­struc­tive. It was agreed that the agency will carry out its in­de­pen­dent and pro­fes­sional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and Iran will ful­fil its le­gal com­mit­ments," said Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic En­ergy Or­gan­i­sa­tion, ac­cord­ing to the Students News Agency ISNA.

"A new chap­ter of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Iran and the In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency will start," said Salehi, but added that "Iran will not ac­cept any ad­di­tional de­mands be­yond its com­mit­ments un­der the 2015 nu­clear deal". "We are work­ing on reach­ing an agree­ment on @IAEAorg's safe­guards ver­i­fi­ca­tion ac­tiv­i­ties in Iran," Grossi tweeted af­ter meet­ing Salehi, without elab­o­rat­ing. But some in­sid­ers said it could be a sign of Iran agree­ing to grant the IAEA ac­cess to the two sites af­ter a months-long stand­off.

Iran has sug­gested the agency is seek­ing ac­cess based on the Is­raeli in­for­ma­tion, which it ar­gues is in­ad­mis­si­ble. Wash­ing­ton last week pressed the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to reim­pose sanc­tions lifted un­der Iran's 2015 nu­clear deal with world pow­ers, from which the United States has with­drawn. Tehran says Grossi's visit is un­re­lated to US moves on sanc­tions and has called on the IAEA to "dis­tance it­self from po­lit­i­cal pres­sure by other coun­tries".

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