IAEA chief to visit Iran for high-level talks

by IANS |

Vienna, March 3 (IANS) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi will travel to Tehran for high-level meetings at the invitation of Iran's government, the Vienna-based agency announced.

In a tweet on Thursday, the IAEA said that Grossi's visit to Tehran comes at the invitation of Iran's government, adding that he will hold a press conference upon his return to Vienna on Saturday.

The announcement came after recent reports that Iran has enriched uranium to near weapons-grade levels of about 84 per cent, reports Xinhua news agency.

On February 19, Bloomberg cited two senior diplomats as claiming that IAEA inspectors in Iran had detected uranium enriched to levels "just below that needed for a nuclear weapon".

Iranian authorities have however, rejected the report.

Mohammad Eslami, president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, on Wednesday said that his country and the IAEA had discussed and finalized a number of issues at the level of experts and claimed that there had been no "deviation" from the country's peaceful nuclear activities.

Eslami added that during his stay in Tehran, Grossi will discuss safeguards issues and the closure of the case.

In recent months, the IAEA has criticized Iran for its lack of cooperation with the agency.

In November last year, the IAEA's Board of Governors passed a resolution proposed by the US, Britain, France and Germany that called on Iran to collaborate with the agency's investigators regarding the alleged "traces of uranium" at a number of its "undeclared" sites.

Iran has repeatedly rejected such allegations and insisted on the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

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