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Iran takes step forward to resolve outstanding nuclear issues, says official

March 16, 2023 at 10:05 am

Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Mariano Grossi [Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency]

Iran has taken a “step forward” to resolve outstanding issues surrounding the nuclear agreement with world powers, a spokesman for the state Atomic Energy Organisation has said. Speaking at an event in Tehran on Tuesday, Behrouz Kamalvandi hailed the visit to Tehran by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, as “fruitful”.

Kamalvandi added that the Iranian nuclear programme is “politicised” at the domestic and foreign levels. On the future of the nuclear talks, he said that he sees it as “grey”, and he is “neither optimistic nor pessimistic.”

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The Iranian official criticised the three European signatories to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal — the United Kingdom, France and Germany — saying, “They had previously criticised the United States for backing out of the agreement, but now they blame Tehran for the impasse.”

Given the West’s escalation of pressure on Tehran, he explained, Iran is cooperating with the IAEA and moving to bridge the gaps regarding the agreement. “Iran and the UN nuclear body have agreed to enhance cooperation amid the deadlock in the deal.”

During Grossi’s visit to Tehran last Friday and Saturday, the IAEA head pointed out that, “We want to conduct a serious and systematic dialogue with Iran on the nuclear file.”

Diplomats from Iran, the US and five other countries have been negotiating for months in Vienna about a deal to re-impose restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear programme in return for lifting economic sanctions on Iran. The sanctions were reimposed by then US President Donald Trump after he unilaterally withdrew America from the agreement in May 2018.

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