IAEA's Grossi says in Iran that he wants to deepen cooperation

Tehran and world powers will resume negotiations on Nov. 29 to find ways to reinstate the nuclear deal that Washington exited three years ago before reimposing harsh sanctions on Iran.

 IAEA DIRECTOR-GENERAL Rafael Grossi speaks at a news conference during a Board of Governors meeting in Vienna in September. (photo credit: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)
IAEA DIRECTOR-GENERAL Rafael Grossi speaks at a news conference during a Board of Governors meeting in Vienna in September.
(photo credit: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters)

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi said during his visit to Iran on Tuesday that he wants to deepen cooperation with the regime leading up to the resumption of nuclear talks with the world powers on Monday.

“The agency is seeking to continue and deepen the dialogue with the government of Iran... We agreed to continue our joint work on transparency and this will continue,” Grossi told a televised news conference.

The IAEA issued reports last week to essentially slam the Islamic Republic for a range of issues, from the rough physical treatment of its inspectors, shutting them out from monitoring various key nuclear sites, stonewalling explaining illicit nuclear materials discovered by the inspectors, and massively violating the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal’s limits.

The hope of many of the world powers of Tehran and Washington returning to the JCPOA have dimmed in recent months, since the new administration of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has taken a more aggressive posture.

Recent US comments have raised greater concerns on whether the JCPOA has become obsolete and any new understandings reached may require a new adjusted deal.

Iranian flag flies in front of the UN office building, housing IAEA headquarters, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2021. (credit: LISI NIESNER/ REUTERS)Iranian flag flies in front of the UN office building, housing IAEA headquarters, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2021. (credit: LISI NIESNER/ REUTERS)

The IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors will hold a quarterly meeting on Wednesday, at which diplomats say no action is likely to be taken against Iran for fear of harming the talks.

After meeting with Grossi, Iran’s nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami said that Tehran was determined to resolve technical issues with the agency without “politicizing the matter.”

Grossi also met with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

The visit by Grossi, who arrived in Tehran on Monday, is his first to Iran since mid-September when he thought he had reached a deal on a range of issues, but the Islamic Republic reneged on key access issues within days.