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Iran, IAEA Chief Say Tehran Talks 'Constructive'


Iranian Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi (left) speaks with IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi at a joint press conference in Tehran on August 25.

Talks with the UN atomic watchdog's chief were "constructive," Iran's top nuclear official Ali Akbar Salehi has said after a meeting with Rafael Grossi, who is in Iran to seek access for the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) inspectors to two suspected former atomic sites.

Grossi's trip comes after the United States last week pressed the UN Security Council to reimpose sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, from which Washington has withdrawn.

Iranian authorities said the visit of the IAEA chief was not related to U.S. moves to reimpose sanctions.

"Our conversation today was very constructive. It was agreed that the agency will carry out its independent and professional responsibilities and Iran will fulfil its legal commitments," said Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization, as quoted by the semiofficial ISNA news agency on August 25.

"A new chapter of cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency will start."

The IAEA board of governors passed a resolution in June putting pressure on Iran to let inspectors into the sites because they could still host undeclared nuclear material, or traces of it.

"There is no political approach towards Iran.... There are issues that need to be addressed...this does not mean a political approach towards Iran," Grossi said after meeting with Salehi.

"The IAEA will not let third countries impact its relations with any other country," Grossi said, according to Iranian media.

Grossi had said before leaving for Iran that he would address "the outstanding questions, in particular, the issue of the access."

Grossi is scheduled to also meet with President Hassan Rohani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and other senior officials during his visit.

Based on Reuters and AFP
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