TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- The head of the United Nations’ nuclear agency met Sunday with Iranian officials ahead of a deadline set by the parliament, obliging the government to stop snap inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities by UN experts.
Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), arrived in Tehran late on Saturday and met with the head of the Iran Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, early on Sunday, TV images showed.
Iran held "fruitful discussions” with Grossi on Sunday, Tehran’s ambassador to the UN body said.
"Iran and the IAEA held fruitful discussions based on mutual respect, the result of which will be released this evening,” Kazem Gharibabadi, who attended the meeting, wrote on Twitter.
Salehi on Saturday slammed the leak of confidential information of the member states, urging the IAEA to review its mechanisms to prevent information leakage.
"Unfortunately, the leak of the agency’s confidential information to world media is an unpleasant trend that has been going on for years, and in this regard, the Islamic Republic of Iran has on numerous occasions submitted its verbal and written protests to the agency,” he said.
The publication of such issues undoubtedly is driven by "political goals and motives”, he said, adding the IAEA should prevent the release of such issues under a professional approach while maintaining its impartiality.
Gharibabadi told reporters last week that the Iranian mission had informed the IAEA of Tehran’s concerns and observations on the protection of confidential information related to its nuclear program.
"Iran’s considerations and concerns with regard to protection of confidential information have been communicated to the International Atomic Energy Agency in an official letter” dated February 4, 2021, which was circulated on February 9.
Grossi had said the aim of the visit was to find a solution for the agency to continue to carry out its verification work under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
"After we announced the implementation of Article 6 of the law … and submitted a letter to the agency in this regard, Rafael Grossi made a request for an urgent visit to Iran to meet with me,” Salehi said.
Ahead of the visit, Reuters which is a regular recipient of leaked information cited unnamed diplomats as claiming that the IAEA had found uranium particles at two Iranian sites it inspected after months of alleged stonewalling and was preparing to rebuke Tehran for allegedly failing to explain.
"The find and Iran’s response risk hurting efforts by the new U.S. administration to restore Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal,” the British news agency claimed.
Reuters then went on to add that although the sites where the material was allegedly found were believed to have been inactive for nearly two decades, "opponents of the nuclear deal, such as Israel, say evidence of undeclared nuclear activities shows that Iran has not been acting in good faith”.
"We have nothing to hide. That is why we allowed the inspectors to visit those sites,” it quoted a senior Iranian official as saying.
At the end of its report, Reuters then cited two of the sources as saying that the uranium allegedly found last year was not enriched.
According to the news agency, the IAEA’s full findings are a closely guarded secret within the agency and only a small number of countries have been informed of the specifics, but did not say how it is always privy to such information.