Iran says ‘counterproductive’ IAEA stance may hinder nuclear talks

Iran’s president said on Wednesday that the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog’s “counterproductive” stance might stymie discussions on renewing Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, after the agency accused Tehran of obstructing an investigation into its past nuclear operations.

In reports to member states reviewed by Reuters on Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said there had been no progress on two key issues: explaining uranium traces discovered at several old, undeclared sites and gaining urgent access to some monitoring equipment so the IAEA can continue to track parts of Iran’s nuclear program.

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According to Iranian state media, President Ebrahim Raisi remarked in a phone discussion with European Council President Charles Michel, “Iran’s serious collaboration with the IAEA indicates its will towards transparency in its nuclear programs.”

“Naturally, expecting Iran to respond positively in the event of a destructive strategy at the IAEA would be unrealistic. Counterproductive tactics are, by definition, disruptive to the negotiation process “Raisi said.

While the uranium traces probe has been ongoing for more than a year, officials believe the IAEA urgently needs access to the equipment to replace out memory cards so that it can continue to monitor activities such as the fabrication of parts for centrifuges, which enrich uranium.

Iran may create and hide unknown quantities of this equipment that might be used to make nuclear bombs or reactor fuel without such monitoring and so-called continuity of information.

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