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Iran: IAEA Chief’s Visit Won’t Impact Decision To Reduce Cooperation

As the head of the UN nuclear watchdog arrives in Tehran to dissuade the Islamic Republic from restricting nuclear inspectors, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic said Rafael Grossi’s visit is unrelated to Iran’s decision, and the suspension of the additional protocol will move forward.

Abbas Araghchi said on a state-TV show that the implementation of the additional protocol will suspend on February 23, “but we will not exit the nuclear deal and the moment our demands under the nuclear deal are mt we will return to the deal.”

“Saying the inspectors will have to leave Iran is not the right interpretation. Their inspection will be restricted around 20 to 30 percent in accordance with the bill passed by the parliament,” Araghchi claimed.

He claimed that the goal of Grossi’s visit is to “establish a new order in the relationship between Iran and the IAEA.”

However, before his visit, Grossi told the media that he is going to Tehran to meet with Iranian senior officials in order to find a way for the agency to continue its truth-finding mission in Iran.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog found uranium particles at two Iranian sites it inspected after months of stonewalling, diplomats say, and it is preparing to rebuke Tehran for failing to explain, possibly complicating U.S. efforts to revive nuclear diplomacy.

The find and Iran's response risk hurting efforts by the new U.S. administration to restore Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, which President Joe Biden's predecessor Donald Trump abandoned.

Araghchi went on to say that President Joe Biden’s team is motivated to return to the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), adding that the “JCPOA is an achievement of the Democrats, and it’s natural for them to be interested in returning to the deal.

“Joe Biden’s tram campaign on returning to international agreements including the JCPOA, and they won the election, but I think after they got to the White House, they realized that it’s not going to be as easy as they thought,” he added.

The Foreign Ministry Spokesman said “the JCPOA has serious opposition in US Congress, within the US and the region,” and there are talks within the Biden team to whether use the leverage that Trump created on Iran or not.


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