Iran Offers Nothing New in Latest Meeting, UN Nuclear Watchdog Says

FILE PHOTO: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi looks on during a news conference with Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Mohammad Eslami as they meet in Tehran, Iran, March 5, 2022. REUTERS./

 – The head of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog on Wednesday said Iran did not offer anything new during a recent meeting in Vienna about its nuclear program, but added that talks would continue in the coming weeks.

Tehran had announced on Nov. 2 that it was sending a delegation to Vienna to try to narrow differences with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is trying to keep tabs on Iran’s nuclear activity.

“So, they didn’t bring anything new,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi told Reuters on the sidelines of the COP27 climate conference in Egypt. “We are going to meet again at a technical level in Iran in a couple of weeks.”

Iran is seeking closure of the IAEA’s investigation of its nuclear activities, among other guarantees, in order to revive the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

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That pact had restrained Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from U.S., EU and U.N. economic sanctions, but former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from it in 2018, claiming Iran was in violation.

Indirect talks between Tehran and U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration on reviving the largely hollowed-out deal are stalled.

“It is no secret that we haven’t been able to register some tangible elements,” Grossi said.

“We have an opportunity to re-engage to continue our work, but this is going to be happening after my reports’ release,” he added, referring to the IAEA’s upcoming quarterly reports on Iran due next week.

(Reporting by Richard ValdmanisEditing by Bill Berkrot)

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