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VIENNA/DUBAI: The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, said on Wednesday he hoped for a meeting with Iran later this month to end a standoff over traces of uranium found at undeclared sites would continue after Iran’s nuclear chief reportedly said it was not “on the agenda”. ”
“Hopefully our scheduled technical meeting with Iran will take place,” Grossi said on Twitter.
He told a news conference moments later that he was responding to a comment by Iranian nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami, reported by state media. Iran did not make such remarks directly to the IAEA, he added.
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s years-long investigation into the particles has now stalled, and the two sides have agreed to meet in Tehran, with the IAEA saying it “expects to begin to receive technically credible explanations from Iran” about how the particles got there.
The issue has been an obstacle to progress in broader talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and prompted Western powers to push for a new resolution targeting Iran at the meeting of the 35-nation Board of Governors. from the IAEA this week, this time ordering Iran to respond promptly to questions from the IAEA.
Eslami’s comments appeared to be a response to the draft resolution prepared by the United States and the so-called E3 – Britain, France and Germany – on which the board will vote this week. A similar resolution was passed by a wide margin in June.
“At the moment, there is no IAEA trip to Iran on the agenda. Given Iran’s goodwill and logical responses, we can hope for good results if the agency follows a professional and apolitical path,” Eslami was quoted as saying by Iranian media on Wednesday, the day of the Opening of the IAEA Governing Board meeting.
Eslami added that Iran rejects the draft resolution, which says the council “decides that it is essential and urgent” that Iran give the IAEA the answers and cooperation it seeks.
Asked what it would mean if the meeting did not take place, Grossi replied: “Well, that would make things even worse than they already are. We are not advancing. »

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