Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Mohammad Eslami (left) and the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in Vienna on September 25, 2023

IAEA Chief To Visit Iran, Says Iran’s Nuclear Chief

Wednesday, 04/17/2024

The head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Eslami, said on Wednesday that the International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring is in place and UN nuclear chief Rafael Grossi will soon visit Iran.

Mohammed Eslami did not specify a date for Grossi's visit in his comments. However, based on his previous remarks, the date might be as soon as early May. In February, Eslami announced that Grossi would attend the first international nuclear energy conference in Isfahan, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of establishing the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

However, Iran’s nuclear chief did not mention the closure of the nuclear facilities for 24 hours on Sunday in the wake of Iran's aerial bombardment which saw 350 plus missiles and drones launched towards Israel.

The IAEA director said on Monday that Iran closed its nuclear facilities on Sunday due to threats of an Israeli attack, fearing retaliation to the bombardment which saw forces from the UK, US, Jordan and France work to intercept the majority of the projectiles before they reached Israeli territory. While they reopened on Monday, Grossi said he would keep IAEA inspectors away until the situation calmed down.

As Israel considers whether to launch a counterattack, there has been speculation that some nuclear-related sites may be targeted. In response to a question regarding the possibility of Israel striking Iran's nuclear sites, Grossi replied on Monday, “We are always concerned about this possibility.”

Eslami also downplayed the tension by claiming that cameras are installed and "constantly monitor" the nuclear facilities and that inspectors also visit them regularly.

Iran said the attack on Saturday was an action of self-defense in retaliation for an alleged Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus on April 1. It was the first direct action initiated inside Iran against Israel and began a new chapter in the conflict between the two countries previously engaged in a years-long shadow war.

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