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IAEA's Grossi To Visit Iran As Nuclear Deal's Fate Hangs In Balance

By RFE/RL March 03, 2022

The director-general of the UN's atomic energy agency will travel to Iran on March 5 to meet with Iranian officials as Tehran and world powers continue to negotiate a possible return to a crippled nuclear agreement.

"Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi will travel to Tehran for meetings with senior Iranian officials on Saturday," the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement on March 3.

The plans for a visit were first reported by an Iranian news agency affiliated with that country's top security body.

"If Grossi's trip could help the agency and Tehran to reach a road map to resolve existing safeguard issues, it can help revival of the nuclear deal in Vienna," the Nournews agency said.

Numerous rounds of talks including U.S. and Iranian negotiators have been held in the Austrian capital over the past year to reach a new agreement to replace a 2015 deal exchanging curbs on Iranian nuclear activities for sanctions relief.

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of that deal in 2018 and reinstated crippling sanctions against Iran, and Tehran subsequently fell out of compliance with some terms of the agreement.

Progress has been reported but Tehran wants the issue of uranium traces found at old but undeclared sites to be dropped and closed permanently, Reuters quoted an anonymous Iranian official as saying.

On February 26, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Twitter that Tehran was "seriously reviewing a draft of a [new] agreement."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on March 2 urged Iran to move quickly to resolve any remaining issues and said a decision "must not be postponed any longer and cannot be postponed any longer."

Russian envoy Mikhail Ulyanov, who has been widely regarded as the most publicly optimistic among the delegation leaders on the prospect of a new deal, told Reuters that "we are one minute from the finish line."

The IAEA said Grossi would address journalists after returning from Iran to Vienna late on March 5.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-nuclear- grossi-visit/31733928.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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