Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (left) speaks with International Atomic Energy Organization, IAEA, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi (right) during a round of talks in Tehran, March 4, 2023. Others are unidentified. (PHOTO / AP)
VIENNA – Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have pledged in a joint statement to step up cooperation to expedite the resolution of outstanding safeguards issues.
Iran "expressed its readiness to continue its cooperation and provide further information and access to address the outstanding safeguards issues," according to a joint statement by the IAEA and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, which was published on the IAEA website on Saturday.
The joint statement came after IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi's visit to Tehran on Friday and Saturday, during which he met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and AEOI President Mohammad Eslami
Iran's outstanding safeguards issues are reportedly one of the sticking points in the Iran nuclear talks, which have been stalled since August last year. While the IAEA has accused Iran of failing to provide "technically credible explanations" for nuclear activities at three undeclared sites, Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected the claim and insisted on the transparency and peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
The joint statement came after IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi's visit to Tehran on Friday and Saturday, during which he met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and AEOI President Mohammad Eslami.
At a press conference held in Vienna on Saturday upon Grossi's return from Tehran, the IAEA chief said surveillance cameras will be reconnected at several of Iran's nuclear sites.
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Earlier on Saturday, Grossi said in Tehran that the cooperation between the IAEA and Iran and the "good agreement" the two sides are expected to reach will contribute to the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Iran signed the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with world powers in July 2015, agreeing to put some curbs on its nuclear program in return for the removal of the sanctions on the country. The United States, however, pulled out of the deal in May 2018 and reimposed its unilateral sanctions on Tehran, prompting the latter to drop some of its nuclear commitments under the deal.
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The talks on the JCPOA's revival began in April 2021 in Vienna. No breakthrough has been achieved after the latest round of talks in August last year.