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IAEA chief holds 'intense' talks in Tehran amid uncertainties

Aimed at encouraging Iranian cooperation, Rafael Grossi’s visit could play central to the trajectory of the upcoming talks on the revival of the nuclear deal, which has been in tatters since the US withdrawal in 2018.
(R to L) Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian shakes hands with Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi.

The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, was in Tehran to secure much-wanted cooperation from Iranian officials at a critical moment for the fate of the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The negotiations were "intense," Grossi declared at a presser in Tehran, adding that they were held "with a view to finding common ground." Standing next to the IAEA chief was the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Mohammad Eslami, who said Iran had addressed ambiguities raised by the IAEA. Eslami shrugged off some issues, the basis of which was "evidence provided by our enemies." He did not offer further details, but the IAEA has in its recent reports expressed concern, among other issues, about Iran’s reduced cooperation that has appeared in extreme "physical searches" imposed on its inspectors.

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