UN nuke watchdog chief says monitoring of Iran is no longer intact

MENA , Sunday 24 Oct 2021

The Head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog says his monitoring program in Iran is no longer “intact” after Tehran refused requests to repair cameras at a key facility, creating the possibility the world will never be “able to reconstruct the picture” of what the Iranians have been doing, NBC News reported Sunday.

Rafael Mariano Grossi
file photo: International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, left, speaks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department in Washington, ahead of a meeting. AP

In an interview with NBC News, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi said he’s been unable to establish the type of direct communication with Iran’s government that he had before a new hardline government run by President Ebrahim Raisi was elected in June.

“I have never spoken to the new foreign minister,” Grossi says. “I hope to be able to have the opportunity to meet with him soon because it’s very important … so when there is a problem, when there is misunderstanding, when there is a disagreement, we can talk about it. I used to have it before, and I would assume it that I would be the normal thing.” Grossi spoke during a visit to Washington as the fate of the Iran nuclear deal hangs in the balance, with world powers urgently urging Iran to return to negotiations to restore the deal and the US saying time is running out.

Although Grossi says he had “no indication” that Iran is currently racing for a bomb, he says the world needs look no further than North Korea to understand what’s at stake. IAEA inspectors were kicked out of North Korea, also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in 2009, and the country is now believed to have dozens of nuclear warheads.

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