IAEA Chief Urges Iran for More Concrete Nuclear Cooperation

UN pushes Iran for ‘concrete’ cooperation on atomic programme | News

The United Nations nuclear body’s chief, Rafael Grossi, has made an urgent call to Iran to adopt tangible and “concrete” measures to enhance cooperation regarding Iran’s atomic activities. This demand comes as the UN seeks to re-establish oversight of Iran’s nuclear ventures, a process that has faced numerous setbacks in implementing a deal agreed upon last year.

Increasing Distance between Positions

Despite the call for increased efforts, officials from both sides have suggested that there is a significant gap between their stances. Grossi, speaking at a news conference in the Iranian city of Isfahan, proposed for the Iranian officials to focus on “very practical and tangible measures” that could potentially accelerate cooperation. “What we are looking at is concrete measures that could make this [the deal] operational,” the IAEA head said.

Positive Talks, But No Immediate New Deal

While both parties acknowledged that no immediate new deal would emerge from Grossi’s visit, they highlighted a joint statement from March 2023 as a potential roadmap for future cooperation. The joint statement included a commitment from Iran to address issues surrounding sites where inspectors have raised questions about possible undeclared nuclear activities, and to allow the IAEA to implement further appropriate verification and monitoring activities.

The Ongoing Clash: Iran and IAEA

Relations between Iran and the IAEA have long been turbulent, with the UN agency tasked with monitoring a nuclear programme that Western nations suspect has the potential to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran, however, vehemently denies these allegations. It is worth noting that Iran is enriching uranium up to 60 percent purity, perilously close to the 90 percent required for weapons-grade material. According to IAEA standards, if enriched further, this could potentially suffice for the creation of two nuclear weapons.

High-level Enrichment: A Warning

Grossi has previously warned about Tehran’s capacity to produce “several” nuclear bombs, given the amount of uranium enriched to near-weapons-grade levels in their possession. He has also admitted the agency’s inability to guarantee that none of Iran’s centrifuges may have been used for clandestine enrichment activities.

In conclusion, the ongoing dialogue between the UN and Iran remains crucial in determining the future of Iran’s nuclear programme. The need for ‘concrete’ cooperation has been strongly emphasized by the UN, as it continues to grapple with the complexities of oversight and the potential risk associated with Iran’s uranium enrichment activities.