Iran’s Foreign Ministry said Monday that it had invited the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit Tehran after he complained about a lack of contact with Iranian officials.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi “has been invited” without specifying a date for the potential visit. “We await his response,” Khatibzadeh told reporters.
On Friday, Grossi slammed Iran’s new government for what he called an “astonishing” lack of contact with the IAEA. Grossi met with Iran’s new atomic energy chief in Iran in September but claimed he hasn’t had “any contact” with the new government. Grossi said he has lots of issues to discuss with Iran, including monitoring of its nuclear program.
Earlier this year, Iran stopped voluntarily complying with the Additional Protocol, an aspect of the nuclear deal that allows the IAEA to conduct snap inspections. Iran initially reached a monitoring deal with the IAEA that satisfied the nuclear watchdog, but the deal has since expired.
Grossi and the West portray Iran’s non-compliance with the Additional Protocol as a violation of the JCPOA. But since the US withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, Iran is no longer bound by the agreement.
Indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the JCPOA are set to resume on November 29th. Until the talks start and Iran gets a sense of how serious the US is about lifting sanctions, the Iranians have little motive to work out any new deals with the IAEA.