In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani (right) meets International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi at the presidency office in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Aug 26, 2020. (IRANIAN PRESIDENCY OFFICE VIA AP)
DUBAI/VIENNA - Iran said on Wednesday it had agreed to grant the UN nuclear watchdog access to two sites that the agency suspects once secretly hosted nuclear material or activities, easing a months-long standoff over the issue.
Wednesday’s breakthrough in the dispute over the sites near Karaj and Isfahan was announced in a joint statement by Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency during a rare visit to Tehran by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi
Wednesday’s breakthrough in the dispute over the sites near Karaj and Isfahan was announced in a joint statement by Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency during a rare visit to Tehran by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.
US intelligence services and the IAEA believe Iran had a clandestine nuclear weapons programme that it halted in 2003 for fear of discovery. The Islamic Republic has long denied seeking to develop atomic bombs.
“Iran is voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the IAEA,” Grossi and Iran’s nuclear agency chief Ali Akbar Salehi said in a joint statement, confirming an earlier report by Reuters.
“The IAEA does not have any further questions to Iran and further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Tehran,” the statement reads.
According to the statement, dates for IAEA inspectors to visit the sites had been agreed, without naming them, as well as the parameters of “verification activities” there.
Grossi is in the Iranian capital pushing for clearance for IAEA inspectors to examine two suspected former atomic sites.
Iran said Grossi’s visit was unrelated to a US move last week at the UN Security Council to reinstate UN sanctions against Tehran lifted under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, from which the United States has withdrawn.
HONG KONG NEWS