VIENNA (Dispatches) - Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi on Tuesday in meeting with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal affairs Mohsen Baharvand hailed the country’s cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, describing Tehran as a "key partner” to the atomic agency.
During the meeting, Grossef assessed as positive the level of verification activities of the IAEA in Iran.
Baharvand, for his part, referred to the extensive level of cooperation between Iran and the IAEA, underlining the need for the agency not to allow certain countries to influence its relations with Iran.
He said that mutual cooperation in a constructive atmosphere and away from influence of the third parties serves the interests of both parties and the integrity of the agency.
IAEA Urged to Verify Activities in Saudi Arabia
Baharvand complained about Saudi Arabia’s non-transparent nuclear practices, calling on the IAEA to carry out verification activities in the kingdom.
He said that Riyadh is refusing to allow IAEA’s inspectors to carry out verification activities in the kingdom.
Citing Western officials, The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Saudi Arabia, with Chinese help, has built a facility for extraction of yellowcake from uranium ore near the remote town of al-Ula.
The New York Times said American intelligence agencies had spotted what appeared to be an undeclared nuclear site not too far from the town of al-Uyaynah, located 30 kilometers northwest of the Saudi capital of Riyadh, and its Solar Village.
The agencies, the report said, are scrutinizing attempts by the kingdom to build up ability to produce nuclear fuel that could potentially lead to the development of nuclear weapons.
At the end of a trip by Grossi to Tehran on August 26, Iran and the UN agency reached an agreement to "further reinforce their cooperation and enhance mutual trust” to facilitate the full implementation of Iran’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and the Additional Protocol (AP) thereto.
Grossi is expected to visit the second of two sites in Iran later in September for verification purposes based on the recent agreement.