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Iran vows IAEA cooperation based on safeguards

At conference, official urges UN nuclear watchdog to remain free from external political influence and pressures

By MIKE GU in Hong Kong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-07 19:50

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi meets with the Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Mohammad Eslami in Isfahan, Iran, on May 7. [Photo/Agencies]

Iran will continue to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) within the frameworks of the safeguards agreement and Non-Proliferation Treaty, expressing readiness to cooperate with other countries in the development of peaceful nuclear technology, Teheran's atomic chief said.

Mohammad Eslami, president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said that Iran was ready to cooperate with regional countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, in the development of nuclear technology.

He made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the first International Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology and the 30th National Nuclear Conference of Iran on May 6, held in the central Iranian province of Isfahan.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi arrived in Iran earlier that day to attend the conference, as well as hold meetings with Iranian high-level officials.

Eslami expressed hope that the IAEA would play an independent role in Teheran's nuclear program, calling for the organization to remain unaffected by external "political influence and pressures" against Iran's nuclear program.

Like many other countries, Iran also has the right to develop nuclear technology, Eslami said, adding that the AEOI is making quick efforts to generate clean and sustainable energy. He said that his organization had placed on its agenda the generation of 20,000 megawatts of nuclear power by 2041.

Eslami added that Iran possesses good research and educational capacities in nuclear technology and that the nation is ready to share its experiences and knowledge with other countries.

Speaking at the nuclear conference, Abdullah bin Saud al-Anzi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Iran, highlighted the need to enhance interactions between Riyadh and Teheran. Describing Iran as a "neighboring, brotherly and friendly" country, the envoy said he hopes that further progress would be made in bilateral cooperation, including in peaceful nuclear activities.

Iran signed a nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with world powers in July 2015, accepting restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions. However, the United States withdrew from the agreement in May 2018, reinstating sanctions and prompting Iran to scale back some of its nuclear commitments.

Efforts to revive the JCPOA began in April 2021 in Vienna, Austria, but despite multiple rounds of negotiations, no substantial progress has been reported since the last talks in August 2022. 

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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