UN Watchdog Chief in Tehran for Talks on Nuclear Deal

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Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi (L) meets with Rafael Grossi (R), head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), upon his arrival in Tehran, Iran, today.
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi (L) meets with Rafael Grossi (R), head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), upon his arrival in Tehran, Iran, today.Credit: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran / AFP
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The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi arrived in Iran on Monday evening to discuss disputes over the technical conditions in the 2015 Vienna nuclear agreement.

Grossi is scheduled to meet Iran's nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami on Tuesday, followed by his first meeting with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

Last week, Grossi complained about the restrictions placed on the IAEA's work in Iran and that its inspectors had been subjected to "excessively intrusive body searches" by the Iranian security forces for months.

In addition, Grossi said Tehran had broken an agreement to monitor a workshop for modern uranium centrifuges. In his second visit to Tehran in three months, Grossi said he wanted to discuss these problems with the Iranian leadership and hopefully find solutions.

Iran has rejected Grossi's criticism. "We should not forget who is the perpetrator and who is the victim here," Foreign Office spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday, adding that it was not Iran but the US that withdrew from the Vienna Agreement in 2015 and thus also violated its conditions.

Tehran could not honor a deal that had not been implemented by the agreement's other signatories, Khatibzadeh said, adding that Iran expected Grossi to maintain a factual and non-political attitude in the talks. After a nearly six-month hiatus due to the change of government in Tehran, talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal are finally set to resume in Vienna next week.

Getting international sanctions lifted is a top priority for Iran, as their imposition has plunged the oil-rich country into the worst economic crisis in its history.

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