(April 20, 2021 / JNS) The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran have begun talks aimed at obtaining clarifications from the Islamic Republic on the source of uranium traces discovered at undeclared sites, Reuters reported on Monday.
Due to the talks, European powers delayed a decision to use a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-country Board of Governors to pass a resolution criticizing Iran over the matter, according to the report. Such a resolution could have negatively impacted parallel nuclear talks underway between Iran and world powers, aimed at reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.
Since 2019, IAEA inspectors have found processed uranium traces at three locations not declared by Iran as being related to its nuclear program. At least one of the sites, at Turquzabad, was named by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a secret Iranian nuclear site in 2018, following a Mossad operation to retrieve Iranian nuclear archives. In July 2019, IAEA inspectors visited that site and took samples.
On Monday, Iranian officials said Tehran and world powers made progress towards finding a path to re-enter the JCPOA, which was abandoned by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018.
A blast tore through the key Iranian uranium enrichment site at Natanz on April 11, and Tehran has accused Israel of being behind the incident, which an Iranian official claimed had damaged thousands of centrifuges.
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