News ID: 96641
Publish Date : 15 November 2021 - 21:36

TEHRAN -- UN nuclear agency chief Rafael Grossi will visit Iran “probably soon”, the Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday, as Tehran and the remaining signatories to a 2015 nuclear deal prepare to resume talks on removing U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“Grossi has been invited to travel to Tehran. A date has been set in this regard and we are waiting for his response to the specified date. He will visit Iran probably soon,” Saeed Khatibzadeh told a weekly news conference.
“God willing, Grossi will meet Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian and the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization during his visit.”
Confirming the invitation to Grossi, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that dates for the visit were being finalised.
Grossi had been hoping to visit Iran before the next meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors starts on November 22. On Friday, he said, “There’s a long list of things we need to discuss.”
Grossi last visited Tehran in September, where he clinched a deal over access to surveillance equipment at Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The invitation comes as talks are expected to resume on November 29 in Vienna aimed at removing the sanctions imposed, reimposed and relabeled under the former U.S. president Donald Trump.
Khatibzadeh did not make clear whether Grossi’s trip would take place before next week’s meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors.
The deal, which offered Tehran relief from sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, was torpedoed when the U.S. unilaterally pulled out in 2018.
On Monday, Khatibzadeh reiterated Iran’s demands for guarantees that the U.S. would not pull out of the deal again, adding that progress in negotiations was contingent on the lifting of sanctions.
However, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has lately resorted to Trump tactics and threatened to explore “other options” should the negotiations fail.
Last week, Biden said in a memo to the U.S. State Department that there were sufficient supplies of petroleum so other countries can reduce what they buy from Iran.
Biden’s statement came in advance of a virtual Monday meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping, whose country is the largest purchaser of Iranian oil despite the U.S. sanctions.
Before occupying the White House, Biden had repeatedly renounced his predecessor’s policies with regard to Iran. After taking office, however, he has signaled keeping the key elements of the sanctions regime intact as a pressure tool against the Islamic Republic.
Recently, the United States has resorted to stealing Iranian oil cargoes. Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said Wednesday that it had prevented a piracy attempt on an Iranian oil cargo traveling in the sea of Oman last month.
Khatibzadeh said Monday, “Biden’s behavior is being closely monitored here in Tehran, and we will proceed in talks in Vienna on the basis” of the other sides’ behavior.
Regarding the U.S. call for a cut in Iranian oil purchases, Khatibzadeh said, “What is important for us is the realities on the ground. What Biden said shows how intertwined the whole world is, and that no country can be kept out of the market.”
He said, “The United States has tried for years to eliminate the Iranian nation from world markets, but day after day, it has gotten poorer and poorer outcomes.”

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