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UN nuclear agency chief due in Tehran Sunday as West loses patience with Iran

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s director-general plans to visit Iran on Sunday to try to defuse tension over what the nuclear watchdog says is Tehran’s lack of cooperation.

Rafael Grossi will meet the Iranian vice president and the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Mohammad Eslami, the IAEA says.

Grossi is expected to hold a press conference on his return to Vienna airport at around 8:30 p.m. (18:30 GMT).

The visit comes after the agency issued a particularly harsh report earlier this week and ahead of a meeting of the IAEA board next week.

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Mariano Grossi addresses media after his arrival at Vienna International Airport, on February 21, 2021. (Alex Halada/AFP)

Major powers are losing patience, more than two months after the suspension of negotiations that had begun in April in Vienna under the aegis of the European Union to try to resurrect the international agreement of 2015.

The United States is close to abandoning its efforts, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned on Wednesday.

The Islamic Republic has been gradually freeing itself from its nuclear obligations since 2019, in response to Donald Trump’s reinstatement of US sanctions.

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