Grossi says Iran, IAEA should keep interaction

Grossi says Iran, IAEA should keep interaction
# 17 May 2023 00:29 (UTC +04:00)

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi has stressed the importance of keeping interactions alive with Iran, APA reports citing IRNA.

In an interview with CBC News, Grossi said the level of interactions between Iran and the nuclear watchdog currently is not “assessed to be good.”

“What’s important is to keep the interactions (alive) and, possibly there could be a return to the negotiating table,” the IAEA chief emphasized.

The United States unilaterally withdrew from the multinational nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2018 and imposed sanctions on Tehran.

Negotiations were launched in the Austrian capital city of Vienna in April 2021 to potentially remove the sanctions against Iran and pave the way for JCPOA's revival.

The talks, however, have been at a standstill since August 2022 due to Washington’s refusal to lift the bans and provide guarantees that it will not violate its commitments again.

“The prospects of a swift return to the JCPOA as we once knew it are quite low at the moment,” Grossi said in the interview.

However, he emphasized that all parties to the agreement stand to “gain” by “working constructively.”

Iran and the IAEA have been in a dispute triggered in part by accusations from the Israeli regime and the United States against Tehran’s peaceful nuclear activities.

Grossi visited Tehran in March for high-level talks with Iranian officials, including with President Ebrahim Raisi, in an effort to resolve the differences.

In a joint statement after the visit, the two sides agreed that interactions will continue in a spirit of collaboration and in full conformity with obligations under IAEA's Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement.