IAEA chief seeking confidence-building measures with Iran

Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi, who is in Iran for high-level talks, says he has proposed "practical" steps to revive the Joint Statement of March 4, 2023 and rebuild trust between the UN nuclear watchdog and Tehran.

"I proposed a set of concrete practical measures for the revitalization of the 4 March 2023 Joint Statement with aim of restoring process of confidence building and increasing transparency," he said in a post on X after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and his deputy, Ali Bagheri Kani.

The Joint Statement refers to a declaration issued at the end of Grossi's last visit to Iran in March 2023, where both sides agreed to continue their interactions in "a spirit of collaboration, and in full conformity with the competences of the IAEA and the rights and obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran, based on the comprehensive Safeguards Agreement".

The IAEA chief had previously claimed that the implementation of the Joint Statement to resolve safeguards issues had been stalled due to lingering tensions between Tehran and the agency.

The safeguards-related allegations against Iran's nuclear activities have their roots in forged documents provided by the Israeli regime to IAEA officials. Most notably, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged five years ago that "uranium traces” had been found at “undeclared nuclear sites” inside Iran. Those claims have since been amplified by the Western media.

The issue has become as a key sticking point in now-stalled talks to restore a 2015 nuclear agreement, from which the United States unilaterally withdrew in 2018 and re-imposed economic sanctions against Iran that the deal had lifted.

While rejecting the allegations, Iran has consistently stressed that no country has unlimited safeguards obligations with the UN nuclear watchdog. However, Tehran has voluntarily agreed to increase verification and monitoring of its nuclear activities by IAEA inspectors, within the framework of a strategic law passed by the Iranian Parliament in 2020.

News ID 197569

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