IAEA head arrives in Tehran to meet with head of Iran's atomic energy organisation

Agencies
February 21, 2021

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Tehran, Feb 21: Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi has arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran, to take part in Sunday talks with Vice President and Head of Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi.

"IAEA Chief @RafaelMGrossi is traveling to Tehran over the weekend to meet with senior Iranian officials. A press conference is planned for Sunday after meetings in #Iran," the IAEA confirmed on Twitter.

In a Telegram post, the IAEA said that Grossi arrived in Tehran on Saturday night and was going to meet with Salehi the following day.

Earlier this week, the Iranian Foreign Ministry reaffirmed Tehran's intentions to limit the implementation of the Additional Protocol on inspections of its nuclear sites starting February 21. The ministry stressed that this would only concern additional inspections.

On Friday, Grossi said on Twitter that he was going to meet with senior Iranian officials over the weekend "to find a mutually agreeable solution, compatible with Iranian law so that the IAEA can continue essential verification activities in Iran." The IAEA head said he expected the talks to be successful.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has emphasized that at the end of February Tehran is going to reduce the presence of UN inspectors in the country, but that does not mean that all contacts with the IAEA are being cut off.

In 2015, Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or the Iran nuclear deal) with the P5+1 group of countries (the United States, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom - plus Germany) and the European Union. It required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal's adoption. In 2018, the US abandoned its conciliatory stance on Iran, withdrawing from the JCPOA and implementing hard-line policies against Tehran, prompting Iran to largely abandon its obligations under the accord.

In December, Iran passed a law to increase its uranium enrichment and stop UN inspections of its nuclear sites in response to the killing of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. At the start of January, Iran's atomic energy organization announced that the country had succeeded in enriching uranium at 20 percent at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.

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Agencies
February 25,2021

Saudi Crown Prince undergoes surgery, discharged

Riyadh, Feb 25: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler, has had successful surgery for appendicitis, state media reported late Wednesday.

The 35-year-old prince had "successful laparoscopic surgery (Wednesday) morning for appendicitis at King Faisal Specialist Hospital" in Riyadh, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

SPA tweeted footage of the prince walking out of the hospital with an entourage and getting into the front passenger seat of a car.

The prince has overseen the most fundamental transformation of Saudi Arabia in its modern history, shaking up the ultraconservative oil giant with an array of economic and social reforms.

But he has also presided over a crackdown on critics including prominent clerics, activists, and royal family members.

He faced a storm of condemnation over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate in October 2018.

A US intelligence report -- soon-to-be released -- is believed to have concluded that Prince Mohammed was behind the killing.

The White House has said President Joe Biden will speak with King Salman, not his son the crown prince, when he makes his first telephone call to Saudi leaders.

Biden has not yet spoken to the king but is expected to do so "soon".

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Agencies
February 14,2021

1710260-1.jpg

Riyadh, Feb 14: Thirteen more mosques across Saudi Arabia have been shut temporarily as Covid cases continued to increase.

According to the kingdom's Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, 57 mosques have been shut over the past six days because of confirmed Covid cases.

The latest closures happened in Riyadh after cases were reported among worshippers.

Arab News reported that Imams of mosques are joining efforts to combat the virus, urging worshippers to take precautionary measures seriously and calling it a “religious and national duty”.

The ministry has stepped up monitoring at mosques where Friday prayers are held

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Agencies
February 21,2021

Image result for IAEA head arrives in Tehran to meet with head of Iran's atomic energy organisation

Tehran, Feb 21: Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi has arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran, to take part in Sunday talks with Vice President and Head of Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi.

"IAEA Chief @RafaelMGrossi is traveling to Tehran over the weekend to meet with senior Iranian officials. A press conference is planned for Sunday after meetings in #Iran," the IAEA confirmed on Twitter.

In a Telegram post, the IAEA said that Grossi arrived in Tehran on Saturday night and was going to meet with Salehi the following day.

Earlier this week, the Iranian Foreign Ministry reaffirmed Tehran's intentions to limit the implementation of the Additional Protocol on inspections of its nuclear sites starting February 21. The ministry stressed that this would only concern additional inspections.

On Friday, Grossi said on Twitter that he was going to meet with senior Iranian officials over the weekend "to find a mutually agreeable solution, compatible with Iranian law so that the IAEA can continue essential verification activities in Iran." The IAEA head said he expected the talks to be successful.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has emphasized that at the end of February Tehran is going to reduce the presence of UN inspectors in the country, but that does not mean that all contacts with the IAEA are being cut off.

In 2015, Iran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or the Iran nuclear deal) with the P5+1 group of countries (the United States, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom - plus Germany) and the European Union. It required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal's adoption. In 2018, the US abandoned its conciliatory stance on Iran, withdrawing from the JCPOA and implementing hard-line policies against Tehran, prompting Iran to largely abandon its obligations under the accord.

In December, Iran passed a law to increase its uranium enrichment and stop UN inspections of its nuclear sites in response to the killing of nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. At the start of January, Iran's atomic energy organization announced that the country had succeeded in enriching uranium at 20 percent at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.

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