IAEA chief in Iran for key meeting on Monday

The visit is the director-general’s first to the country since he took office last December.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi addresses the media after a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria June 15, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/LEONHARD FOEGER)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi addresses the media after a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria June 15, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/LEONHARD FOEGER)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi is traveling to Tehran on Monday for crucial meetings with high-level Iranian authorities.
The visit is the director general’s first to the country since he took office last December.
According to the IAEA, “During his discussions in Tehran, Director General Grossi will address the cooperation of Iran with the IAEA, and in particular Iran’s provision of access to the Agency’s inspectors to requested locations.
“I have decided to come personally to Tehran so that I can reinforce the importance of cooperation and the full implementation of all safeguards commitments and obligations with the IAEA,” Grossi said.
“My objective is that my meetings in Tehran will lead to concrete progress in addressing the outstanding questions that the Agency has related to safeguards in Iran and, in particular, to resolve the issue of access.” And, he added, “I also hope to establish a fruitful and cooperative channel of direct dialogue with the Iranian government which will be valuable now and in the future.”
In June, the IAEA Board of Governors issued the first condemnation of Iran in almost a decade, for lack of compliance in granting access to two disputed nuclear sites for clearing up the origin of illicit nuclear material found by inspectors at the Turquzabad site.
The Board of Governors vote came at Grossi’s request, with the current IAEA chief being more willing to publicly push around the Islamic Republic than his predecessor, Yukiya Amano.
Israeli intelligence officials believe that one reason Grossi is more willing to pressure the ayatollahs is that he was not part of forming the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, whereas Amano viewed the deal as a sacrosanct piece of his legacy.
At the same time, it is unclear whether Grossi can bring more pressure to bear on Tehran than a public scolding, since the UN Security Council recently rejected US attempts to extend an arms embargo on Iran and is expected to reject US attempts to snapback global sanctions.


Tags IAEA Nuclear