IAEA Deputy Chief to Visit Iran

IAEA Deputy Chief to Visit Iran

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Deputy Director General Massimo Aparo will visit Iran for "routine safeguards activities" without any pre-planned talks, Iran’s envoy to the international organizations in Vienna announced.

Aparo’s visit to Iran would take place next week, Kazem Gharibabadi said in a tweet on Saturday as the IAEA is yet to receive a reply from Tehran on an expired monitoring deal.

“The purpose of the visit is in line with routine safeguards activities in the context of the CSA (Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements),” the Iranian envoy said.

Highlighting “continuous contact” between Iran and the IAEA, Gharibabadi noted that there would be “no pre-planned talks in Tehran during the visit.”

Back in February, Iran stopped the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Treaty, which stipulates enhanced access to nuclear sites and snap inspections by the IAEA, Press TV reported.

The halt came under the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law passed in December 2020 by the Iranian Parliament, and adds to Iran’s previous steps away from the 2015 nuclear deal in response to the US’ unilateral withdrawal in 2018 and the other parties’ failure to fulfill their commitments.

At that time, the IAEA and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) reached a temporary bilateral technical understanding, under which the latter would continue to use cameras to record information at its nuclear sites for three months, but it would retain the information exclusively. If the US sanctions were lifted completely within that period in a verifiable manner, Tehran would provide the footage information to the UN nuclear watchdog, otherwise it would be deleted forever.

The understanding expired in May amid diplomatic efforts in Vienna, Austria, to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran and the IAEA agreed to extend the understanding for a further month until June 24 allowing the agency to continue necessary verification and monitoring work in the country.

After the IAEA demanded “an immediate response” from Iran on whether it would extend a monitoring deal that expired on June 25, Gharibabadi reminded the UN nuclear agency that the country is only committed to honor its obligations under the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements.

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