UN: Iran does not provide ‘credible’ answers on material on undeclared sites

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, said on Monday that Iran had still not provided satisfactory answers on the presence of uranium at three facilities.

“Iran has not provided technically credible explanations regarding the agency’s findings at three undisclosed locations in Iran,” Grossi said Monday at a quarterly meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna.

“Iran also did not inform the agency of the current location or locations of nuclear material and/or nuclear contaminated equipment, which was moved from Turquzabad in 2018,” it said. he declares.

Grossi noted that in order for the IAEA “to be able to provide assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, the agency remains ready to re-engage without delay with Iran to resolve these issues.”

In his remarks, which largely focused on Ukraine, Grossi did not mention his recent trip to Israel and his meetings with Israeli officials. On Thursday, Grossi landed in Tel Aviv for a whirlwind visit, meeting Prime Minister Naftali Bennett before returning to Vienna.

Bennett warned Grossi that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapon development while deceiving the world with “false information and lies” to cover up its work. The IAEA chief tweeted after their meeting that he and Bennett had “important exchanges on topical issues”.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (right) meets with International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi on June 3, 2022. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Major European countries and the United States are expected to seek censorship of Iran at the IAEA meeting amid stalled talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

The resolution drafted by the United States, Britain, France and Germany is a sign of their growing impatience as diplomats warn the window to salvage the landmark deal is closing. If the resolution urging Iran to “fully cooperate” with the IAEA is passed, it will be the first motion censuring Tehran since June 2020.

Talks to revive the deal began in April 2021 with the goal of bringing the United States back into the deal and lifting sanctions again, and getting Iran to scale back its enhanced nuclear program.

The landmark 2015 deal – promising sanctions relief from Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program – began to unravel in 2018 when then-US President Donald Trump pulled out of it.

Talks to revive the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, have stalled in recent months. The talks’ coordinator, top EU diplomat Josep Borrell, warned in a tweet over the weekend that the possibility of returning to the deal was “shrinking”.

“But we can always do it with extra effort,” he said.

During Monday’s meeting, Grossi also said the IAEA was working to send an international team of experts to visit the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, which is now under the control of the force. russian invasion, Reuters reported.

A Russian soldier stands guard at an area of ​​the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in territory under Russian military control, in southeastern Ukraine, May 1, 2022. (AP Photo)

Grossi said he intended to lead such a mission if it could be arranged, and warned that nuclear material data is not being passed to the IAEA as it should be following the seizure of the site by Russia in the southeast of the country.

“We are working out the modalities for sending such a mission; other considerations should not prevent this essential international mission from taking place,” he said, according to the report.

The IAEA has been concerned for months about the security situation at Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. The workers there are under the leadership of Russia. Ukraine has informed the IAEA that it is concerned about the supply of spare parts to Zaporizhzhia.

“I have taken note of the Ukrainian government’s call,” Grossi said.

Russian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in the Zaporizhzhia region on Sunday, where he received a battle report, thanked troops and met with refugees in what was only his second public visit outside the Kyiv region since the start of the war.

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