Iran assures full cooperation to IAEA ahead of board meeting

VIENNA, March 4 (Reuters) – Iran has given major assurances to the U.N. nuclear watchdog that it will finally help a long-stalled investigation into uranium pellets found at undeclared sites and the reinstallation of dismantled monitoring equipment, the watchdog said on Saturday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran issued a joint statement on IAEA chief Rafael Croci’s return from a trip to Tehran two days before the quarterly meeting of the 35-nation Board of Governors.

The statement went into little detail, but diplomats said the potential for a significant improvement in relations between the two would prevent Western push for another resolution ordering Iran to cooperate. However, Iran has made similar promises in the past, delivering little or nothing.

“Iran expressed its readiness to provide additional information and access to resolve outstanding security issues,” Joint Statement said. A confidential IAEA statement to member states seen by Reuters said Croci “looks forward to swift and full implementation of the Joint Statement”.

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Iran must provide access to information, locations and people, Grassi told a news conference at Vienna airport after landing, suggesting a major breakthrough after years of Iranian stonewalling.

Iran was allowed to reinstall additional monitoring equipment put in place under the 2015 nuclear deal, but the deal was scrapped last year after the U.S. pulled out of the deal under then-President Donald Trump in 2018. Trump.

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However, Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency, said Tehran had not agreed to grant access to the public.

“During the two days that Mr. Grossi was in Iran, the issue of access to individuals was never raised,” Kamalvandi told state news agency IRNA, adding that there was no deal to install new cameras at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Grassi said further talks between the IAEA and Iranian officials in Iran would take place “very, very soon”.

Asked if all of those surveillance tools would be reinstated, Grassi replied, “Yes.” However, when asked where it would be reinstated, he only said that it would be in several places.

Report by Francois Murphy; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Holmes

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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