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the IAEA director in Tehran to break the deadlock

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While the negotiations started in April in Vienna to resuscitate the 2015 international agreement have been suspended since June, the director of the IAEA is in Tehran on Sunday to try to obtain pledges of goodwill from the Iranian authorities.

The IAEA director general is visiting Tehran on Sunday, September 12 to try to defuse tensions between the West and Iran, accused of a lack of cooperation in monitoring its nuclear program.

This visit comes just before the holding next week of a quarterly meeting of the Board of Governors of the UN body.

“Rafael Grossi will meet the vice-president of the Islamic Republic and the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (OIEA), Mohammad Eslami,” the IAEA said on Saturday in a statement sent to AFP.

The IAEA official, who is making his second trip to Iran this year, will hold a press conference upon his return Sunday evening at Vienna airport around 8:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. GMT).

The International Atomic Energy Agency made a stern finding in a report submitted this week to member states.

“Since February 2021, verification and surveillance activities have been seriously hampered by Iran’s decision” to restrict inspections, reads the document consulted by AFP.

Under these conditions, the technical capacity of the IAEA to follow the Iranian nuclear program over time is “strongly compromised”, and “its confidence is reduced over time”, estimates the UN nuclear policeman.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi reacted by assuring that his country was showing “transparency”.

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“Of course, in the event of an unconstructive approach from the IAEA, it is unreasonable to expect a constructive response from Iran,” he said Wednesday according to a press release from the presidency.

Deaf dialogue

At the same time, the negotiations started in April in Vienna, under the aegis of the European Union, to try to resuscitate the international agreement of 2015 have been suspended since June.

No resumption date has yet been announced despite repeated calls from the West, who are alarmed by the recent ramp-up of Iran’s nuclear program.

Faced with this impasse, the United States is “close” to abandon its efforts, warned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The American envoy for Iran Robert Malley traveled from Tuesday to Friday in Moscow and Paris for “consultations” with Russia and the Europeans.

He reported on Twitter of “constructive meetings” for a “rapid return” to the nails of the “common global action plan” (JCPOA, according to its acronym).

The Islamic Republic has gradually freed itself from its nuclear obligations since 2019, in response to the reinstatement of US sanctions by former US President Donald Trump.

With AFP