Head of UN nuke watchdog meets Iran nuclear chief in Tehran

TEHRAN: The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog met on Sunday (Feb 21) with Iran’s atomic chief ahead of plans to partly suspend United Nations inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, state TV reported.

Iran’s parliament in December approved a bill that would suspend part of UN inspections of its nuclear facilities under a 2015 nuclear deal if European signatories do not provide relief from oil and banking sanctions by Feb 23. 

It would also halt the implementation of an additional protocol that allows the IAEA inspectors to carry out more intrusive inspections to Iran’s nuclear facilities.

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Following the 2015 deal, Iran voluntarily agreed to implement the additional protocol.

On Saturday, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Iran’s nuclear department, said he and Rafael Grossi would meet on Sunday to discuss the UN agency’s concerns over the halt of the inspections as well as Iran’s cooperation with the agency.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said last week the visit was aimed at finding “a mutually agreeable solution for the IAEA to continue essential verification activities in the country”.

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