Borrell says discussed with Iran counterpart Tehran-IAEA cooperation
The foreign policy chief of the European Union says he discussed the cooperation between the IAEA and Iran months into the talks being held between the two parties.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Monday that he had discussed the cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in a phone call.
"We also discussed Iran-IAEA cooperation, which gained momentum recently. I stressed that Iran must continue this, end support to Russia’s war against Ukraine, and stop instrumentalizing EU nationals," Borrell said on Twitter.
We also discussed Iran-@iaeaorg cooperation, which gained momentum recently. I stressed that Iran must continue this, end support to Russia’s war against UA, and stop instrumentalising EU nationals.— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) May 8, 2023
Iran and the IAEA have been in talks since March to clarify Tehran's position on allowing IAEA verification and monitoring activities in the country.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi went to Iran and met with Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) chief Mohammad Eslami, confirming that the UN nuclear watchdog wanted to sign a deal with Tehran that would help revive the original nuclear deal, also known as the Iran nuclear deal.
The spokesperson for the AEOI, Behrouz Kamalvandi, affirmed in an exclusive interview for Iran's official IRNA news agency that the most recent agreements signed between Tehran and the IAEA during the agency head's visit adhere to strategic law passed by the Iranian parliament.
That came shortly after Iran and the IAEA affirmed in a joint statement they had approved certain steps to boost cooperation and hasten the resolution of outstanding safeguards issues between the two sides.
The statement was released at the conclusion of a visit by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, during which he met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and the Head of the IAEO, Mohammad Eslami.
Moreover, in light of the latest developments regarding the nuclear file, it was reported that the Biden administration was exploring a stopgap agreement with Iran that would offer the Islamic Republic some sanction relief in exchange for Tehran freezing parts of its nuclear program.
The discussions, which started in January, involve Iran halting its uranium enrichment at 60%, well below the 90% enrichment required of weapons-grade uranium necessary for nuclear weapons, the report said.
Reportedly, Iran currently has over 87 kilograms of 60% enriched uranium in its stockpiles, which, if enriched, would be enough to produce at least one nuclear bomb, the West claims despite Tehran constantly underlining that its nuclear program is peaceful.
The proposed deal is similar to one created by the Obama administration when Iran signed the 2013 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), colloquially known as the Iran nuclear deal, which included a short-term freeze on some of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for partial sanctions relief, the report said.
Tehran has so far underlined its rejection of the new approach, citing the 2015 agreement that nearly went back into effect in September before Iran backed out in light of Western countries' rejection of the country's demands to cease investigations into nuclear sites, Axios said.
This comes after China urged the United States in March to make a political decision regarding the JCPOA, underlining that complete and effective cooperation was the correct path forward regarding Iran's nuclear issue.
Read more: Iran's AEOI rejects claims it approved IAEA's access to certain people