The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that its chief, Rafael Grossi, would visit Tehran next Tuesday to meet with senior Iranian officials. The visit will come more than two months after Iran pledged to host him.
In the statement issued by the UN nuclear watchdog body, it was said, “We can confirm that Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi will meet with high-level Iranian government officials in Tehran on Tuesday, November 23.”
Grossi’s visit was also confirmed by the Iranian side. Speaking to the Iranian media, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, stated that Grossi would come together with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and nuclear energy chief Mohammad Eslami.
The visit will take place before two significant gatherings; one is the quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors, and the other is the nuclear talks between Iran and the P4+1 countries, which was scheduled to restart on November 29.
On Wednesday, the IAEA filed two reports to its member states, revealing disagreement points with Iran, including Tehran’s failure to clarify the tracks of uranium particles that were found at unreported facilities and its rejection of the re-installment of the IAEA’s surveillance cameras.
According to one of the reports, Iranian security officers continue to expose IAEA inspectors to “excessively invasive searches, which scared them.”
Grossi said in his news conference held on November 12 that his visit would provide an opportunity to hold a “serious conversation” with the new Iranian administration under hardline President Ebrahim Raisi.
Meanwhile, France called the UN watchdog body to send a strong message to Tehran. The call came over the reports. French Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre said, “Iran must return without delay to fulfilling all its commitments and obligations to the IAEA, resume cooperation with the agency and return to full implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Over French diplomat remarks, Iran urged France not to politicize the issue. Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement through its official Twitter account, saying, “As a responsible member of the IAEA, Iran has always emphasized that the IAEA’s reputation as a technical and specialized body of the UN must be free of any political conduct.”