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France Says IAEA Governors Must Help Send Strong Message to Iran

France Says IAEA Governors Must Help Send Strong Message to Iran

Thursday, 18 November, 2021 - 17:30
A cleaning staff works before a news conference attended by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi during an IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna, Austria, September 13, 2021. (Reuters)

The UN nuclear watchdog's governing board must send a strong message to Iran when it convenes next week, France said on Thursday after two agency reports highlighted Iran's continued disputed nuclear activities and lack of cooperation.

The International Atomic Energy Agency issued two reports on Wednesday detailing its conflicts with Iran, from rough treatment of its inspectors to re-installing monitoring cameras at Iranian sites the IAEA deems essential for the revival of Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

"It must return without delay to fulfilling all its commitments and obligations to the IAEA, resume cooperation with the agency and return to full implementation of the JCPoA (nuclear deal)," French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters in a daily briefing.

"The IAEA Board of Governors must help send a strong message to Iran in this regard," Legendre said of the 35-nation meeting that begins on Nov. 24 in Vienna.

She did not clarify what she meant by a strong message, although diplomats have said it is unlikely Western powers will take any action against Tehran before indirect negotiations between Iran, United States and world powers on reviving the nuclear accord resume on Nov. 29.

Western powers scrapped plans in September for a IAEA board resolution rebuking Iran after Tehran agreed to prolong monitoring of some nuclear activities and invited IAEA chief Rafael Grossi to Tehran for talks on outstanding issues.

Grossi is again due in Tehran ahead of the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors meeting.

He will hold meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran on Tuesday, the IAEA confirmed on Thursday, more than two months after Iran promised to host him.

"We can confirm that Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi will meet with high-level Iranian government officials in Tehran on Tuesday, 23 November," the IAEA said in a statement.

Grossi would hold a news conference in Vienna, where his agency is based, upon his return that same day, it added.

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