IAEA Deputy Chief to pay visit to Iran

Iranian state-run news agency reported that IAEA Deputy Chief is expected to come to Tehran in the upcoming days, quoting the Iranian ambassador to the UN, Kazem Gharibabadi.

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Iranian state news agency, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), reported that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Deputy Director-General Massimo Aparo would visit Tehran. The visit was also announced by Iran’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Kazem Gharibabadi, through a tweet posted on his Twitter account.

The information regarding the schedule of the Deputy Chief’s visit has not been made public yet. However, the report stated that his visit would come in line with routine safeguard activities within the framework of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA).

Any talks are not expected to be held in Tehran during Aparo’s visit, the Iranian envoy added.

In February, Iran suspended its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Treaty. Within the scope of the agreement, the IAEA had been given access to nuclear sites and allowed to conduct snap inspections.

On the other hand, Aparo’s visit will be taking place in light of ongoing disagreements between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog. On June 24, the monitoring deal, which gives the IAEA access to reach information of Iranian nuclear sites, expired. Tehran has not responded to the calls made by the agency, demanding the extension of the technical agreement.

Upon the insistent demand of the IAEA regarding the extension of the monitoring deal, Gharibabadi said that Tehran has no obligation to respond to the agency’s calls. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, also told reporters who asked whether any decision has been made yet about the extension of the agreement, that Tehran has not decided yet on the issue.

The failure to reach an agreement to extend the monitoring deal is also considered a threat for the ongoing nuclear negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear accord, which is being held in Vienna. The sixth round of talks was completed, without an agreement, two days after hardliner judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi had been elected as Iran’s next president. The next round of talks has not been scheduled yet.

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