UN nuclear chief leaves Iran empty-handed ahead of Vienna talks

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A visit to Tehran by the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog ahead of renewed nuclear talks in Vienna ended without an agreement on the resumption of inspections at key nuclear sites in Iran.

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Running news: At a news conference in Vienna on Wednesday, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi said the talks “proved inconclusive” and warned, “We are getting closer to the point where I cannot promise that our There is continuity of information about Iran’s nuclear program.”

  • The Iranians delayed the visit until the IAEA board convened several days before the resumption of Vienna talks to discuss Iran’s breaches.
  • Grossi met with Iran’s foreign minister and the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, calling for an agreement to restore several verification measures and to re-install cameras at the Karaj centrifuge production facility. Grossi said the Iranians rejected those requests.

What will happen next: Iran’s negotiators will once again sit on 29 November with representatives from Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and the European Union.

  • US Iran envoy Rob Malle and his team will be in Vienna but will communicate with Iranians indirectly through European mediators.
  • US officials say they are very skeptical about the prospects for progress in the upcoming round of talks and expect Iran to arrive with maximum status. The talks could last only a day or two, after which the diplomats would return to their capitals for further consultations.
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