IAEA Chief to Visit Iran in Coming Weeks

It's not clear when nuclear deal talks might resume

On Tuesday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said he plans to visit Iran “soon” as the UN watchdog is putting pressure on Tehran to rejoin indirect negotiations with Washington.

IAEA chief Ralph Grossi told reporters during a visit to Washington that he plans to make the trip to Iran before the next meeting of the IAEA board of governors in late November.

Western countries want the IAEA to formally condemn Iran for not complying with aspects of the Iran nuclear deal. But since the US withdrew from the JCPOA back in 2018, Iran is no longer bound by the agreement.

Despite the fact that the US violated the JCPOA, the IAEA is still putting pressure on Iran to comply with the deal. When asked if the IAEA would take action against Iran, Grossi said, “I think it will all depend on what happens from now to the third week of November. So many things will happen.”

In February, Iran stopped voluntarily complying with the Additional Protocol, an aspect of the JCPOA that allows the IAEA to conduct snap inspections. Iran and the IAEA reached a temporary deal that allowed the nuclear watchdog to access surveillance footage at Iranian nuclear facilities, but the agreement has since expired.

IAEA cameras at an Iranian nuclear warehouse in Karaj, Iran, were damaged by an Israeli drone attack in June. Iran has called on the IAEA to condemn the Israeli attack, but so far, the nuclear watchdog has stayed silent.

Iran has said it is willing to return to talks with the US to revive the JCPOA, but a date hasn’t been set. On Sunday, Iran’s foreign minister said there would be preparatory talks in Brussels this Thursday between Iran, the remaining JPOA signatories, and the EU. But on Monday, the EU said there would be no such talks.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.