IAEA chief arrives in Iran to ‘negotiate with top nuclear officials'

UN atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi arrived in Iran Monday, where he is expected to speak at a conference and meet officials for talks on Tehran's nuclear programme.

The visit comes at a time of heightened regional tensions and with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) criticising Iran for lack of cooperation on inspections and other outstanding issues.

Grossi "arrived in Tehran on Monday noon at the head of a delegation to participate in the nuclear conference and negotiate with top nuclear and political officials of the country," news agencies reported.

He is scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Mohammad Eslami.

Grossi is also expected to deliver a speech at Iran's first International Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology, which began on Monday.

At its opening ceremony, Eslami expressed hopes of cooperation with the IAEA, saying this was "at the forefront of the Islamic republic of Iran's policies".

"We hope that the agency can play its role as an independent international institution free from political pressures," he added.

The three-day event is being held in Isfahan province, home to the Natanz uranium enrichment plant and where strikes attributed to Israel hit last month.

Monitoring devices

The IAEA and Iranian officials reported "no damage" to nuclear facilities after the reported attack on Isfahan.

(AFP)


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