IAEA-Iran talks 'constructive', says Salehi

25 August 2020

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), has described his talks with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi as "constructive". Grossi is in Tehran today and tomorrow to discuss access for IAEA inspectors to Iran's nuclear sites.

Salehi and Grossi at the press briefing in Tehran (ISNA)

In June, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution calling on Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA in implementing its NPT Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and satisfy the IAEA's requests without further delay. Last week, the USA asked the UN Security Council to re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Grossi's visit was not related to this 'snapback'.

According to Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA), Salehi told reporters during a press briefing with Grossi today: "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."

He added: "A new chapter has opened between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and with Grossi's visit to Iran, our cooperation will further expand. I hope the outcome of this visit will please both sides, so much so that [they] will fulfil their responsibilities, with the agency acting in accordance with the [IAEA's] Statute and the Islamic Republic of Iran in line with the Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol."

Grossi reportedly said: "The IAEA will not succumb to outside pressure over Iran. The agency is not swayed by any third party, but naturally there is some pressure which the agency will not bow to … There has been no negative change in relations between the IAEA and Tehran, and the agency's approach vis-à-vis Iran has not changed at all. However, there have always been technical questions over IAEA-Tehran relations for further transparency."

On 23 August, the AEOI said: "Whether the trigger mechanism [snapback] is activated or the present current continues, the AEOI has taken big steps for the provision of the 190 thousands SWU target and the nuclear industry authority remains firm."

An SWU - separative work unit - measures the effort required to separate isotopes of uranium (U-235 and U-238) during the enrichment process in nuclear facilities.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News