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UN nuclear watchdog says Iran 'not forthcoming' on past nuclear activities
Talks between Iran and the world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal were placed on pause following the conflict in Ukraine, among other issues. The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog expressed concern about whether Tehran has fully disclosed its history of nuclear activities.
In a report by Reuters, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, said Tuesday that Iran was slow-walking the information on uranium particles that were found at old undeclared nuclear facilities in the country.
The talks to revive the nuclear deal was paused in March due to Tehran’s demand that the country’s Revolutionary Guard would be removed from the US’ “foreign terrorist organization” designation list. Another issue that has caused tensions between Iran and the West was Iran’s demand to dismiss the watchdog’s investigation over the uranium particles in undisclosed nuclear facilities in the country.
The findings suggest that Iran did not declare the nuclear material in the said sites. This also comes as both the IAEA and Iran agreed on a three-month plan back in March for a series of exchanges which Grossi will report his conclusion in June to the watchdog’s Board of Governors.
Western diplomats, however, were reportedly skeptical about whether Tehran has given satisfactory answers to the agency.
Grossi told the EU parliament that he was still concerned about the situation and told Iran that he found it difficult to imagine that a nuclear deal could be reached if the IAEA still had doubts about things that the agency should have known.
Over the weekend, Iran confirmed that the EU’s nuclear talks representative would be arriving in the country this week. The visit by EU envoy Enrique Mora comes as the European Union is seeking to break the deadlock and come to an agreement after months of negotiations in Vienna.
At the same time, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell told the Financial Times that he was seeking a middle ground to end the deadlock. Borrell said he was considering a situation when the FTO designation would be lifted from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards but remain in place in other aspects of the organization.