“Good words” not enough, IAEA hopes for transparency from Iran


IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi addresses a news conference on developments related to the IAEA surveillance and verification work in Iran June 9, 2022 in Vienna, Austria. REUTERS/Lisa Leutner/File Photo

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UNITED NATIONS, Aug 2 (Reuters) – The head of the UN nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday “good words” from Iran were not enough to please international inspectors and he hoped Tehran was ready to be transparent about its nuclear programme to be that “on the move” is very, very fast ahead”.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi was speaking when asked about the IAEA’s role in overseeing a possible revival of the world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, under which it curtailed its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions .

Iran and the United States have so far failed to revive the deal, and Grossi said Iran must give IAEA inspectors access “appropriate to the size” of its uranium enrichment program if the agency is to have credible assurances that it is peaceful.

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“”When it comes to nuclear power, good words are not enough. What you need to do is be transparent, compliant and work with us. We are ready and I hope they will be too,” Grossi told United Nations reporters.

“They have a very ambitious nuclear program that needs to be verified in an appropriate manner. The program is going very, very fast and not only going forward but also sideways as it increases in ambition and capacity.”

Then-US President Donald Trump renounced the nuclear deal in 2018, restored tough US sanctions aimed at restricting Iran’s oil exports, and prompted Tehran to begin abandoning the deal’s nuclear limits about a year later .

On Monday, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency said it had the technical capability to make a nuclear bomb but had no intention of doing so. Continue reading

Iran is already enriching uranium to up to 60% fissile purity, well above a 3.67% ceiling set in the now-torn 2015 deal. Uranium enriched to 90% is suitable for an atomic bomb.

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Reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations and by Arshad Mohammed in Saint Paul, Minnesota; Edited by Chris Gallagher and Mark Heinrich

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