Statements by the head of UN nuclear surveillance come as Tehran and world powers try to save a 2015 deal.
Iran has not responded to questions about the discovery of uranium particles in former undeclared places in the country, said the head of the UN nuclear surveillance body, which asked Tehran to provide information “without further ado. delay “.
Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been pressuring Iran to get answers in three places dating back many years when inspections had revealed remnants of artificial uranium. which suggested that they were previously connected to the Iranian nuclear program.
The issue is independent of ongoing negotiations aimed at returning the United States to Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
In April, the IAEA began a new process of “technical discussions” with Iran to try to “break the deadlock” over the sites.
But a report released last week made it clear that the IAEA inquiries had not been resolved.
“I am deeply concerned that there is nuclear material in all three undeclared locations in Iran and that the agency does not know the current locations of this nuclear material,” Grossi said.
Grossi said Monday that his “expectations were not met” and that there had been no “concrete progress” on the issue, despite the stated willingness of the Iranian authorities to cooperate. “The conversation should lead to conclusions,” he said.
Grossi also said it is “increasingly difficult” to extend a temporary inspection agreement with Iran as Tehran and world powers try to save the nuclear deal.
In February, Tehran suspended some IAEA inspections, which led the agency to establish a three-month temporary agreement that would allow it to continue its activities despite the reduced level of access.
“I can see how this space shrinks,” Grossi said.
In late May, the temporary deal lasted until June 24, and Grossi described the remaining time as “very short.”
Referring to ongoing negotiations in central Vienna between the world powers and Tehran on the possible reactivation of the 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, Grossi said he hoped that through a “broader general agreement that is being worked in the center or by other means, we are not going to see how our capacities of inspection are reduced ”.
“We cannot limit and continue to reduce the ability of inspectors to inspect and at the same time pretend that there is trust,” he said.
Diplomats hope to conclude talks on reactivating the 2015 agreement ahead of Iran’s June 18 presidential election.
The deal has disintegrated since former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew dramatically from 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran.
In retaliation, Iran has been ignoring the limits set in the agreement on its nuclear activities.
Grossi reiterated Monday that the situation in Iran was “serious.”
“We have a country that has a highly developed and ambitious nuclear program that enriches at very high levels … very close to the degree of weapons,” he said.