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Iran says it hopes IAEA chief’s visit will be ‘constructive’

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi addresses the media after his arrival at the Vienna International Airport, in Schwechat near Vienna, Austria, on September 12, 2021. (ALEX HALADA / AFP)
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Mariano Grossi addresses the media after his arrival at the Vienna International Airport, in Schwechat near Vienna, Austria, on September 12, 2021. (ALEX HALADA / AFP)

Iran says it hopes a visit by the chief of the UN’s atomic watchdog will be “constructive,” just days ahead of the resumption of talks seeking to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is to arrive in Tehran later Monday.

He is expected to meet Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Atomic Energy Organization chief Mohammad Eslami, who is also one of Iran’s vice presidents.

“We hope that Rafael Grossi’s visit will be as constructive as the previous ones,” foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh tells reporters.

“We have always advised the IAEA to stay on the path of technical cooperation, and to not let certain countries pursue their political orientations on behalf of the IAEA,” he adds.

On Friday, the IAEA said Tehran had again increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, many times in excess of the limit laid down in the 2015 agreement.

Grossi’s visit comes as Iran readies for talks with world powers in Vienna on November 29 on saving Tehran’s 2015 deal with major powers, that promised it sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

“We will leave for Vienna with a full team and a serious will to lift the sanctions,” Khatibzadeh says. “The other parties should also try to come to Vienna to reach a practical and comprehensive agreement.”

Grossi was last in Tehran on September 12, where he clinched a deal on access to monitoring equipment at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

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