Nuclear: IAEA chief is in Iran, which is nearing the threshold of the bomb

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Nuclear: IAEA chief is in Iran, which is nearing the threshold of the bomb

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi was greeted by Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi upon his arrival in Tehran.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi arrived in Tehran on Friday to lead talks on Iran's nuclear program , after the discovery in Iran of particles of enriched uranium close to the level necessary to manufacture an atomic bomb.

Mr. Grossi was met at the airport by the spokesperson for the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, and then met with the director of this agency, Mohammad Eslami.


Nothing has leaked out about the content of their meeting.

During this two-day visit, Mr. Grossi is expected to meet the President Ebrahim Raisi and other Iranian officials, according to a diplomatic source.

According to a confidential IAEA report seen by AFP on Tuesday, uranium particles enriched to 83.7%, just under the 90% needed to produce an atomic bomb, have been detected in the underground factory of Fordo, a hundred kilometers south of the capital Tehran.

Iran, which denies wanting to acquire the nuclear weapon, justified himself by noting unintended fluctuations during the enrichment process and by assuring that he had not made any attempt to enrich beyond 60%.

< p class="e-p">France ruled on Thursday that this was an unprecedented and extremely serious development.

During his visit, Rafael Grossi will try to find out more and obtain a strengthening of access to the site and an increase in the number of inspections, according to a diplomatic source in Vienna, where the specialized agency of the UN is headquartered.

Mr. Grossi is expected to speak to the press upon his return to Vienna late Saturday, according to the IAEA.

The short visit comes nearly a year after the Argentine diplomat's last visit to Tehran in March 2022, at a time when an agreement seemed possible for a resumption of the endless negotiations between the great powers and Iran on the nuclear file.

But, in a geopolitical context turned upside down by the war in Ukraine, this opportunity was missed.

Since then, concerns have continued to gaining strength in the United States, Europe, and some Middle Eastern countries, such as Israel, on Iran's advances toward atomic weapons control.

The ambition of the head of the IAEA is therefore to relaunch the dialogue after months of deterioration, because each day Iran is freeing itself a little more from the agreement concluded in 2015 to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

This agreement has been stalled since the unilateral withdrawal of the United States decided in 2018 by President Donald Trump.

Tehran hopes that a lifting, even partial, of the severe international sanctions will breathe new life into its economy, weakened in particular by the lack of money. foreign investments.

In its technological race, Tehran is increasing the number of centrifuges at its sites, scattered around the country, and continues to enrich uranium to high levels.

Iran has already been the subject of a call to order from the UN nuclear policeman during the last meeting of the Board of Governors, in November 2022, for its lack of cooperation concerning traces of enriched uranium found at three undeclared sites.

CIA chief William Burns recently expressed concern about the meteoric advance Iran's nuclear program, because he believes that it would only take a few weeks for Iran to reach 90%, if it decided to cross this line.

There are other levels to reach, however, and the United States does not believe that the supreme leader in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has made the decision to resume the militarization of the suspended program or finished at the end of 2003, he said.

At the same time, Washington is alarmed by the dangerous escalation in military cooperation between Iran and Russia. Tehran is indeed accused of supplying drones used in Ukraine, which Iran denies.

For its part, Moscow is likely to supply advanced military equipment to the Ukraine. #x27;Iran, which will enable it to better deal with threats, particularly from Israel.

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