AFP – A top Iranian diplomat insisted on Wednesday that the Islamic republic was willing to cooperate over its atomic programme, even as western powers slammed a “dangerous nuclear escalation”.
In a weekend trip, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Head Rafael Grossi received Iranian assurances on its intentions following the discovery of uranium particles enriched to near weapons-grade level.
“There are many things to do in the coming weeks and months toward addressing issues of common interest, for that Iran is very much willing to work with Rafael Grossi,” Iran’s representative to the IAEA Mohsen Naziri Asl told AFP. “We should avoid confrontation and rather work very responsibly together,” he added.
He declined to give details, including on Grossi’s announcement that surveillance cameras at several nuclear sites would be reconnected.
In a statement to the IAEA board of governors meeting this week, France, Germany and the United Kingdom spoke of Iran’s “unabated and dangerous nuclear escalation”.
The United States (US) also called the discovery of the particles “an alarming development” with 83.7 per cent being just under the 90 per cent needed to produce an atomic bomb.
“Iran must ensure that such an incident never occurs again,” said the US Ambassador to the IAEA Laura Holgate.
“Unfortunately, too many times in the past, Iran has issued similarly vague promises for cooperation in order to avoid international censure, only to never follow through.”