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UN atomic agency head to visit Iran as nuke talks uncertain

The head of the UN’s atomic watchdog plans to visit Iran before the end of next month, amid questions about whether Iran will return to negotiations aimed at reviving the languishing 2015 nuclear deal.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi says he intends to visit Tehran “soon” to discuss and hopefully resolve specific concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. Iran is in violation of several aspects of the 2015 deal that the IAEA is charged with monitoring, and has suspended some elements of other cooperation with the watchdog.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi (left) speaks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on Monday, October 18, 2021, in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department in Washington, ahead of a meeting. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)

On a visit to Washington, Grossi tells reporters that he expects to go to Iran before the next meeting of the IAEA board of governors in late November. Some countries are pushing for the board to condemn Iran’s nuclear activity, including violations of the nuclear deal.

Grossi, who met yesterday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, would not predict whether the IAEA board would take such action, saying it will likely depend on what Iran does in the meantime.

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