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Iranian Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi (left) meets Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Tehran on November 22, 2021 (photo provided by OIEA).
“We hope that Rafael Grossi’s visit will be as constructive as the previous visits”Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said a few hours before the arrival of the head of the United Nations nuclear gendarmerie in Tehran.
“We have always advised the IAEA to stay on the path of technical cooperation and not allow certain countries to pursue their political goals on behalf of the IAEA.”, he added.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, arrived Monday evening, November 22, in Tehran, where he was received by the spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Behrouz Kamalvandi, according to the official IRNA news agency.
He is scheduled to meet with International Atomic Energy Agency Director Mohammad Eslami and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Tuesday.
The talks come a week before talks resume in Vienna between Iran and major powers to try to salvage the Iran nuclear deal, which has been stalled since Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi came to power in June.
The Vienna agreement, concluded in 2015 between Iran on the one hand and the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, France and Germany on the other, offered Tehran to lift part of the international sanctions choking its economy in exchange for reducing its nuclear programme, under strict UN oversight.
But the United States unilaterally left the agreement in 2018 under the presidency of Donald Trump, and reimposed its sanctions on Tehran, which is accused of seeking to acquire atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program. In turn, Iran, which denies such intentions, gradually abandoned its commitments.
Current US President Joe Biden has said he is ready to return to the agreement, provided that Iran simultaneously revives restrictions on its nuclear program.
The move by the head of the UN nuclear gendarmerie comes after the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Wednesday, November 17, an apparent increase in Tehran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium.
“If Iran continues at this rate, the time will come when it will be impossible to reap any gains even by returning to the deal.”Judgment, Friday, November 19, US envoy Rob Malley, during a conference on security in Bahrain.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman accused the United States of launching a psychological campaign against his country.
“Thinking that they (the Americans) with these claims can propagate a false narrative to the international community in order to create a psychological atmosphere in the run-up to the Vienna talks will not help them at all.”Said Khatibzadeh said.
On Saturday, November 20, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told him that all options were on the table, especially if diplomacy failed to regulate Iran’s nuclear energy.
When asked about the possibility of a US military intervention, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said sarcastically: “We’ve seen all of their choices in a country like Afghanistan and they’ve seen the results of those choices. I think they don’t believe what they’re saying.”.
In August, the United States confusedly ended 20 years of occupation of Afghanistan, while the Taliban regained power in Kabul.
Saeed Khatibzadeh confirmed that Iran will go to Vienna “With a full team and a serious will to lift the sanctions. The other parties should also try to come to Vienna to reach a workable and comprehensive agreement.”
Tehran and other countries that are still party to the agreement (Germany, China, France, the United Kingdom and Russia) will participate in the Vienna negotiations. The United States will participate indirectly in the discussions.
Mr. Grossi’s last visit to Tehran was on 12 September. Only then did he meet the head of the OIEA, with whom he negotiated an agreement on the maintenance of monitoring equipment for the Iranian nuclear program.
On November 12 he regretted the lack of contact with the new government, hoping to be able to go to Tehran before the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors, which begins on November 24.
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