IAEA chief reports 'no progress' in talks with Iran
VIENNA, Nov 24, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - The UN nuclear watchdog's head said
Wednesday there had been "no progress" in talks with Iran to resolve disputes
over the monitoring of the country's atomic programme, a day after returning
Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA), told a quarterly meeting of the agency's board that his talks in
Tehran were "inconclusive", despite being "constructive".
Grossi had sought to tackle constraints put on IAEA inspections earlier
this year, outstanding questions over the presence of undeclared nuclear
material at sites in Iran, and the treatment of IAEA staff in the country.
"In terms of the substance... we were not able to make progress," Grossi
told reporters, saying that the lack of agreement had come "in spite of my
Among other officials in Tehran, he met Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-
The talks came ahead of the scheduled resumption on Monday of negotiations
between Tehran and world powers aimed at reviving the 2015 deal that gave
Iran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Iran began moving away from its commitments under the deal in 2019, a
year after then-president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United
States from the accord and began reimposing sanctions.
One of the steps away from the deal came earlier this year when Iran began
restricting some IAEA inspections activity.
Iran and the agency currently have a temporary agreement which gives the
IAEA access to monitoring equipment at Iran's nuclear facilities.
However, the Agency has warned that the agreement is not a durable
solution and Grossi said he was "close to... the point where I would not be
able to guarantee continuity of knowledge" of Iran's nuclear programme if it
Grossi also said he had raised concerns while in Tehran about security
checks on IAEA inspectors which the agency has described as "excessively
He noted that the IAEA and Iran had a legal agreement "which is intended
to protect inspectors from intimidation, from seizure of their property".
"Our Iranian colleagues have instituted a number of measures which are
simply incompatible" with this, he said.