Iran foreign minister says IAEA officials to visit Tehran

Opening session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna

DUBAI (Reuters) -International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials will visit Tehran in the coming days, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Wednesday.

"In the framework of concluding negotiations, IAEA officials will travel to Tehran in the coming days," the minister said during a press briefing with his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad.

"We hope that IAEA Director Grossi will reach an agreement with Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation from a non-political and technical standpoint," Amirabdollahian added.

Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency had earlier reported the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation Mohammad Eslami as saying that IAEA inspectors had been in Tehran since Tuesday and had started negotiations, visits and checks to resolve "ambiguities created by an inspector".

Last week, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said it was discussing the results of recent verification activities with Iran after Bloomberg News reported that the agency had detected uranium enriched to 84% purity, which is close to weapons grade.

A spokesperson for Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation denied the report on Monday and said Tehran's uranium enrichment did not exceed 60% purity.

"Through interactions and coordination, we are preventing the rise of new ambiguities and disruptions to our cooperation with the agency," Eslami was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Since the U.S. withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal in 2018, Iran has gradually started going beyond the pact's nuclear curbs and enriching uranium to up to 60% purity in April 2021.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has never sought to acquire an atomic bomb," Amirabdollahian added.

(Reporting by Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Alexander Smith)