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Iran calls on IAEA to maintain 'technical cooperation'

 
Tehran, Nov 23 (IANS) The Iranian Foreign Ministry insisted on Monday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should "stay in the path of technical cooperation with Iran."

Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the ministry, said at weekly press conference that the UN nuclear watchdog should "not allow some countries to advance their political leanings and intentions in the name of the agency", Xinhua news agency reported, citing the IRNA.

The IAEA's Director General Rafael Grossi is expected to arrive in Tehran on Monday evening. "I hope to establish a fruitful and cooperative channel for direct dialogue, so the IAEA can resume essential verification activities in the country," Grossi tweeted ahead of his trip.

The visit has a specific agenda that has been set by Iran with attention to the existing issues between Tehran and the agency, said Khatibzadeh.

"We have always tried to resolve these issues within the technical framework, as we have asked the agency to advance the work within that same framework, and this trip is a move in this direction," he added.

Khatibzadeh noted that sabotage acts and terrorist attacks against Iranian nuclear facilities have had a "significant impact" on "some technical dimensions," and the IAEA "is well aware" of this.

Iran announced in late June that its TESA plant, a centrifuge component manufacturing workshop near Karaj city, west of Tehran, was the target of a sabotage attempt. Days later, Iranian officials blamed Israel for the attack.

In September, the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA said Tehran should not be expected to reinstall monitoring cameras that were damaged in the attack "without any cost for Israel and without any measure by the agency and claimant countries."

On November 17, the IAEA wrote that Grossi "categorically rejects the idea" that IAEA monitoring cameras may have been used in the sabotage plot.

According to a report by the nuclear watchdog quoted by western media, Iran has told the IAEA that it is "investigating whether the terrorists have used the agency cameras to launch an attack on the complex."

--IANS
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