| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Nuclear deal must await new Iran government, IAEA chief tells La Repubblica

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog said in remarks published on Wednesday that reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear accord requires awaiting the formation of a new Iranian government, adding a deal needed political will from all parties.

“Everyone knows that, at this point, it will be necessary to wait for the new Iranian government,” Rafael Grossi said in an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica, in reply to a question about what stage negotiations on the deal were at.

Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), appeared to be referring to Iran’s presidential elections, due on Friday.

Iran’s new president is likely to name his cabinet by mid-August. The term of current President Hassan Rouhani ends on August 3, a government spokesman said.

The sixth round of talks to revive the deal resumed in Vienna on Saturday between Iran and world powers.

The IAEA does not take any direct part in the negotiations but has been called on to verify any nuclear steps agreed in the talks and to continue inspections in the country.

“The discussions that have been going on for weeks have dealt with very complex and delicate technical questions, but what is needed is the political will of the parties,” Grossi said.

When asked about Grossi’s comments, France’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll told reporters that the negotiations were now on the most difficult topics and that significant disagreements persisted.

“This presupposes brave decisions, which will have to be taken quickly, because we all share the observation that time is not on anyone’s side,” she said.

  • Reuters