Iran to meet with United Nations technical experts on uranium discovery

Iran has agreed to sit down with international technical experts investigating the discovery of uranium particles at three ancient undeclared sites in the country, the head of the U.N. atomic watchdog said on Thursday, after months of frustration over the lack of an explanation. credible of Tehran.

The deal came as three of the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran – France, Germany and Britain – rejected the idea of ​​a resolution criticizing Iran for its decision to begin limiting access for Agency inspectors. Atomic Energy International to current facilities.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told reporters in Vienna that it was not for him to say whether Iran’s decision to hold talks with its technical experts was related to the decision of the so-called E3 group, but suggested that it was difficult to separate. the political side. of Iran’s nuclear program from a technical point of view.

“It is obvious to everyone that all these issues must have some resolution, and when it comes to Iran, and I am not saying anything that Iran itself has not said, everything is interconnected, of course,” he said.

“These are different parts of a single whole.”

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E3 had raised the idea of ​​the resolution after Iran began restricting international inspections last week. However, after a last minute trip to Tehran from Grossi, some of the access was preserved.

Russia and China, the other members of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, were reported to be against the resolution, saying it could further antagonize Iran.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry told The Associated Press that it was common to “discuss all possible options for action” before such meetings, and that despite abandoning the resolution, E3 still had concerns about “serious violations” of the nuclear deal by Iran.

“Above all, we would like to support the IAEA Director General in his efforts to initiate talks with Iran on open safeguards issues,” the ministry said.

Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, tweeted after the decision that “wisdom prevails” and that E3 had avoided unnecessary tension.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry applauded the move.

“Today’s development can keep the path of diplomacy open by Iran and the IAEA, and pave the way for the full implementation of the commitments of all parties to the nuclear deal,” said spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

The nuclear deal promised financial incentives to Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the deal unilaterally in 2018, saying it needed to be renegotiated.

Since then, Iran has slowly violated restrictions to try to pressure the remaining nations to increase incentives to offset new US sanctions that cripple the economy.

Before the decision to start limiting the IAEA’s access, it had already started enriching more uranium than allowed and to a higher purity than allowed, among other things.

US President Joe Biden has said he is ready to join talks with Iran and world powers to discuss a return to the deal, but the violations complicate matters, and over the weekend Iran rejected an offer of the European Union to organize joint talks.

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