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UN Nuclear Chief To Visit Iran

  • RFE/RL

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano addresses a news conference after a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 6, 2017.

The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog is due to visit Iran Sunday for talks with senior officials there, as opposition from the United States threatens to undermine a landmark international agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program.

Yukiya Amano, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), "will focus on the IAEA's verification and monitoring of Iran's implementation" of the 2015 accord, the IAEA said Wednesday.

The visit comes amid a dispute between Washington and Tehran over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision this month not to certify Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

The U.S. Congress now has less than 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the deal, in exchange for restrictions on Iran's nuclear activities.

Amano, whose agency is in charge of monitoring those restrictions, says the deal already subjects Tehran to the world's toughest nuclear inspection regime.

He says his nuclear inspectors have so far encountered no problems in investigating and determining whether Iran is complying with the deal.

Iranian state news agencies reported that Amano will meet with Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who oversees Iran's nuclear activities, among others.

European Union leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to the accord.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Tehran will stick to the agreement as long as the other signatories do, but will "shred" the deal if Washington pulls out, as Trump has threatened to do.

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