Iran, IAEA agree to continue negotiations, cooperation

by IANS |

Tehran, Nov 24 (IANS) Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that they have agreed to continue their negotiations and cooperation in the areas of common concerns.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi on Tuesday met Mohammad Eslami, the chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, reports Xinhua news agency.

At a televised joint press conference, which followed a meeting at the AEOI venue, Grossi and Eslami announced that they would continue negotiations until remaining disputes are resolved.

Eslami said the agency had some questions to Iran "based on the documents published by our enemies," adding that "some questions have been answered and some others remain".

The head of the AEOI said that "parts of these questions were addressed and closed" in the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"We agreed today to end these issues, the negotiations of which are still ongoing," he added.

The Iranian nuclear chief stressed that Iran aims to utilize nuclear technology in various sectors, and "the agency will help us in this regard".

"We have a plan to build at least 10,000 MW of nuclear electricity production capacity in Iran, especially by small power plants each with a maximum capacity of 300 MW," Eslami said, adding that he hopes the agency will persuade and support the countries, which have the technology to help Iran develop its nuclear power capacity.

For his part, Grossi, who arrived in Tehran on Monday, said that the two sides, during his last trip in September, had "agreed to continue our joint work on the clarification of a number of issues and continue and deepen the dialogue with the government of Iran".

"We are continuing our negotiations at this point with the view of finding common grounds. There are a number of issues that we are working on. We will multiply our efforts with the view of concluding our exchanges today on a positive note. We are working very hard," the IAEA chief stated.

Grossi also described his visit to Tehran a sign of determination to hold talks, mutual understanding, resolve problems and boost cooperation with Iran, announcing the agency's readiness to resolve the remaining issues in the coming months in close cooperation with the Islamic Republic.

On his part, Amir Abdollahian urged the UN nuclear watchdog to deal with "technical issues" relating to the Iranian nuclear program and to remain "technical, professional and neutral" in this regard.

In his meeting with Grossi, the Foreign Minister stressed the seriousness of his country to interact constructively with the IAEA within the framework of the Safeguards Agreement, expressing the hope that "mutual trust and cooperation" would be further strengthened.

Prior to his arrival in Tehran, Grossi had expressed the hope that during this trip, he would be able to establish a "fruitful and cooperative channel of direct dialogue", so his agency can resume "essential verification activities" in the country.

The meetings on Tuesday came ahead of the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors' meeting on Wednesday about a recent report pertaining to Iran's nuclear program and a week before the resumption of talks, scheduled on November 29, on reviving the JCPOA in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

The negotiations are aimed at persuading Iran and the US to re-adopt commitments under the JCPOA in exchange for the lifting of American sanctions against Tehran.

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