New IAEA Chief Says May Meet Iranian Officials in Vienna Soon
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The new head of the UN nuclear watchdog said he is expected to hold talks with Iranian officials who will be in Vienna later this week for a meeting of the remaining JCPOA parties.
Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), on Tuesday described Iran's nuclear program as one of the priorities he would consider “immediately” and added he may meet Iranian officials soon.
He hoped he can help set a new tone with the Islamic Republic in his first face-to-face talks, starting this week on the sidelines of the meeting in Vienna.
“I’m the new kid on the block in this relationship. They’ve been there, now they get a new DG, so we have to sit down together, start talking and take it from there,” he said.
“Let me start my conversation with Iran. I don’t think it would be appropriate, and it would be unfair, to pronounce myself about their attitudes before I sit down with them.”
Grossi has said he will be “firm but fair” on inspections generally, including in Iran, without spelling out what that means. He told Reuters he is satisfied with the work the IAEA’s inspections team has been doing.
In May 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the JCPOA.
Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the JCPOA after the US withdrawal, but the three EU parties to the deal (France, Britain, and Germany) have failed to ensure Iran’s economic interests.
The EU’s inaction forced Tehran to stop honoring certain commitments to the nuclear deal, including a rise in the stockpile of enriched uranium.
Iran maintains that the new measures are not designed to harm the JCPOA but to save the accord by creating a balance in the commitments.