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Iran Press TV

UN nuclear agency says Iran taking 'a step in the right direction'

Iran Press TV

Fri Oct 4, 2019 03:18PM

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran has taken "a step in the right direction" regarding its nuclear program but there are still issues that have not been "completely addressed."

The UN nuclear agency said on Friday that it was "discussing substance" with Iranian officials.

Speaking to journalists in Austria's capital, Vienna, acting IAEA Director General Cornel Feruta said there has been "engagement" from Iran in recent weeks on questions relating to its nuclear safeguards declarations to the agency.

"(That) engagement doesn't mean that the issues are completely addressed but it's a step in the right direction."

He noted that the queries were not directly related to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and world powers, but rather on Iran's separate safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

In early September, Feruta was in Tehran to hold talks with senior Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi.

A day after the visit to Tehran, the agency issued a statement confirming that Iran is installing advanced centrifuges after warning signatories to the JCPOA that the clock is ticking for them to salvage the accord.

In the statement, the UN nuclear agency said it has "verified that the following centrifuges were either installed or being installed...: 22 IR-4, one IR-5, 30 IR-6 and three IR-6s."

Later in the day, Feruta called on Iran to "respond promptly" to the agency's questions regarding Tehran's nuclear program.

He said that during his meetings in Tehran he "stressed the need for Iran to respond promptly to the agency's questions related to the completeness of Iran's safeguards declarations."

"Time is of the essence."

In his address to reporters on Friday, Feruta said the IAEA had "been having a very active dialogue with Iran at both technical and higher levels in the past few weeks."

"I think the message we sent out in September and also during my visit to Tehran was understood by the Iranian officials and as a result, we have this engagement on these particular issues," the IAEA head said.

Iran has been on track to abandon commitments under the nuclear deal in response to a move by President Donald Trump of the United States to withdraw from the pact and re-impose the "toughest ever" sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Tehran has so far rowed back on its commitments three times in compliance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA. It has stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the mutual trade from the US sanctions.

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