Home Middle East UN Nuclear Watchdog Head Arrives in Iran Amid Hopes of Deal

UN Nuclear Watchdog Head Arrives in Iran Amid Hopes of Deal

Rafael Grossi, the head of UN’s nuclear watchdog chief arrived in Iran’s capital late on 4 March. The visit comes amid the revival of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal. 

Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is going to meet the Iran officials today. The talk comes when one of the participants to talks said a deal is “close.” The talks in Tehran are happening simultaneously with talks between Iran and other nuclear powers in the Austrian capital. 

According to the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, Grossi was received by its official, and today he is going to meet the head of the organization.

The IAEA head expressed hope when he tweeted: “This is a critical time but a positive outcome for everyone is possible.”

Talks between Iran, the UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany started in Vienna last November.  The US has not directly participated in these talks. Representatives from the UK, France, and Germany are heading home to brief their ministers. The coming days will be crucial for any deal to happen. 

Stephanie Al-Qaq, head of the British delegation, referring to France, Germany and the UK said, “We are close. E3 negotiators leaving Vienna briefly to update ministers on the state of play.” The diplomat also added that they were “ready to return soon.”

The IAEA head spoke about the accountability of Iran’s alleged presence of nuclear material at several undeclared sites and IAEA will not overlook that. Iran officials have said that the closure of the past probe is crucial for clenching any deal.

Post his return, Grossi is expected to speak to the press in Vienna. 

Representative of the EU, Josep Borell, who is hosting the talks also expressed that he “hopes to have results this weekend.”

The US had walked out of the deal in 2018. The Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The main aim of this deal was to ensure that Tehran’s nuclear programme could not be used to develop a nuclear weapon. However, Iran has always maintained that it never wanted to develop a nuclear weapon.