IAEA deputy chief arrives in Iran for nuclear talks

Acting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Cornel Feruta from Romania waits for the start of the IAEA board of governors meeting at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, August 1, 2019. (Ronald Zak-AP)

Acting Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Iran’s capital Tehran on Sunday for talks on the country’s nuclear programme with the Iranian officials, state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Cornel Feruta held talks with Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, on the transparency of Iranian nuclear programme and the IAEA monitoring tasks with the Iranian nuclear sites.

Feruta’s visit to Tehran follows Iran’s suspension of parts of its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

It also comes before a quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s 35-country Board of Governors in Vienna on Monday.

Feruta is also scheduled to hold a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Sunday.

Iran’s Ambassador to IAEA, Kazem Gharib Abadi, said that Feruta’s meetings are part of the ongoing cooperation between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog, according to Press TV.

On Saturday, Iran officially announced a move to withdraw from part of its commitments to the JCPOA.

Following the announcement, Iran started up advanced centrifuges and activated 20 IR-4 centrifuges and 20 IR-6 centrifuges to boost the country’s stockpile of enriched uranium.

Iran had already made two other moves to scale back its obligations to the deal to build stockpiles of nuclear fuel and enrich low-grade uranium to a higher level of purity.

Iran’s steps to suspend the compliance with some provisions of the accord are retaliatory reactions to U.S. President Donald Trump’s move in May 2018, which pulled Washington out of the Iranian deal and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, Xinhua reported.

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