In an effort to de-escalate the nuclear dispute, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, has started talks in Tehran. Grossi met the head of the Iranian nuclear energy organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, on Sunday morning, as TV images showed. Later on, Grossi's meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif was planned, Zarif told the English-language Iranian Press TV. </p><div> <p>Iran threatens to restrict the IAEA inspectors' access to some of its nuclear facilities from Tuesday if the US does not relax its sanctions against Tehran. A deadline set by the Iranian parliament ends at midnight on Sunday.</p>
Grossi says he wants to find an “amicable solution” in Tehran so that the IAEA can continue its controls. After his return from Tehran, he plans to hold a press conference in Vienna, the headquarters of the IAEA, on Sunday evening.
In an additional protocol to the 2015 nuclear agreement, Iran had promised the IAEA inspectors that they would also carry out short-term inspections of facilities that they suspected of illegal nuclear activity. However, a law passed by the Iranian parliament in December requires that this permit be revoked in February if there is no easing of the US sanctions by then.
The Vienna nuclear agreement is supposed to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons, but the Islamic republic has been promised to relax sanctions. However, after withdrawing from the agreement in 2018, the US imposed new sanctions on Iran. Since then, Tehran has also gradually withdrawn from its obligations.
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