- For years, officials have demanded an explanation for traces of uranium.
- The 35-nation board of UN oversight bodies has called on Iran to cooperate
- Another board resolution likely next week, diplomat says
- Investigation complicates negotiations on Iran nuclear deal
VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran agreed to a visit by the UN nuclear watchdog this month, a report seen by Reuters said on Thursday.
However, Iran has yet to provide the new material, and the offer came ahead of next week’s quarterly meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of directors. Tehran is usually hairy.
Many diplomats see Iran’s proposal as a thinly veiled attempt to reduce support for another resolution after a similar resolution was passed in June.
“[IAEA Director Rafael Grossi]has noted Iran’s proposal to hold a further technical conference with senior IAEA officials in Tehran by the end of this month, which effectively clarified these issues and The aim should be to resolve the issue,” said two confidential IAEA reports on Iran sent to member states on Thursday ahead of the council.
The IAEA added that it “expects to begin receiving technically credible explanations from Iran on these issues, including access to sites and materials, and taking samples if necessary.”
A senior diplomat said the Vienna-based agency hopes the meeting will be the beginning of a process that will lead to a solution, but that the meeting itself also needs concrete progress.
Mr Grossi told Reuters the meeting would be “in the next few weeks”.
The issue has hampered broader negotiations to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Because Tehran has demanded an end to her IAEA investigation in these negotiations.
The IAEA has said it will not bow to political pressure and its job is to account for all nuclear material. Unexplained factual material appears to have existed on these sites, and is an issue that must continue to be investigated until resolved.
“I find that the pattern in Iran is always similar. Every board is trying to do something right before the board meeting. Offers.
The 2015 agreement restricted Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.In 2018, then-President Donald Trump ordered the United States to withdraw from the agreement and reimposed US sanctions on Tehran. Iran responded by violating and well exceeding the limits of the agreement.
Iran recently installed hundreds of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium in underground factories in Natanz and Fordow. This move quickens the pace of its enrichment.
The 2015 agreement only allows Iran to produce enriched uranium using more basic first-generation centrifuges.
Another IAEA report issued on Thursday and confirmed by Reuters said Iran’s stocks of enriched uranium shrank slightly by about 267 kg to an estimated 3,673.7 kg, still short of the 202.8 kg allowed for trade. It’s far beyond
Stocks of uranium enriched to 60% purity, close to weapons-grade levels of about 90%, rose by an estimated 6.7kg to over 62kg. This is more than enough for a single nuclear bomb if refined further. Iran denied seeking nuclear weapons and said its nuclear technology is for civilian purposes only.
Reported by Francois Murphy.Edited by Toby Chopra and Mark Heinrich
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