Feb 17, 2021 16:47 UTC
  • IAEA director general to visit Iran Saturday for technical talks on ways to continue cooperation

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, will visit Tehran on Saturday for technical talks on how to work with Iran in light of its plan to reduce voluntary cooperation, Iran's ambassador and permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna says.

“This visit was requested by the director general of the IAEA for technical talks with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran on how to implement the provisions of Iran's February 15 letter to the IAEA and Article 6 of the 'Strategic Action Plan’ of the Iranian Parliament and how to continue bilateral cooperation in light of the new arrangements and developments,” Kazem Gharibabadi said on Wednesday. 

The announcement came a few hours after Grossi announced on Tuesday that he was ready to visit Iran after Tehran informed the UN body of its decision to end voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Agreement.

Grossi said in a statement that the aim of the visit was to find a solution for the agency to continue to carry out its verification work under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Earlier on Wednesday, the IAEA verified that Iran has informed the UN nuclear watchdog of its plan to cease the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol. 

“Iran informed the IAEA on 15 February that the country will stop implementing voluntary transparency measures under the JCPOA as of 23 February, including the Additional Protocol,” an IAEA statement said. 

The Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Tehran will end its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol should the other parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement fail to live up to their commitments by the set deadline.

 “This measure means an end to inspections beyond the Safeguards Agreement, but does not mean an end to all inspections. In fact, Iran is a member of the Safeguards Agreement and the NPT, but the implementation of the Additional Protocol will be halted,” the Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at a weekly press conference. 

In December 2020, Iranian lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the 'Strategic Action Plan to Lift Sanctions and Safeguard Interests of Iranian People', which intends to further accelerate the development of the country’s nuclear program and counteract illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the United States.

The law, among other things, has required the administration to stop allowing inspections beyond the Safeguards Agreement, including the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol, unless there is an easing of the illegal US sanctions.