September 15, 2015 / 7:50 AM / 4 years ago

U.N. nuclear chief to visit Tehran this week - Iranian official

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi (R) speaks as the head of the country's Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, listens during a nuclear deal review meeting in Tehran August 9, 2015. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA

DUBAI (Reuters) - The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog will visit Tehran this week, joining a group of experts who were due to fly late on Monday, Iran’s top nuclear official said.

Ali Akbar Salehi spoke in Vienna after meeting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano, who is responsible for monitoring whether Iran complies with a nuclear deal reached with world powers on July 14.

The IAEA said in an email that a visit by Amano to Tehran was under consideration but the “details are still to be worked out”.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) requires Iran to curb its nuclear programme under close supervision from the IAEA, in return for relief from international sanctions.

“About 12 or 13 IAEA experts are going to Tehran tonight and Amano will visit in the next three or four days,” Salehi said on state television late on Monday.

“We hope the remaining issues are resolved by December 15 so the implementation of the JCPOA can start,” he added, referring to a deadline set in a ‘Road-map’ deal Iran reached with the agency alongside the JCPOA.

The IAEA is in discussions with Iran about how to implement the Road-map, which will include inspections of nuclear facilities and meetings with the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), headed by Salehi.

IAEA officials will also be present when Iranian technicians take soil samples taken from an Iranian military site at Parchin, according to diplomats, as part of the agency’s investigation into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s past nuclear programme.

Both Iran and the IAEA have said details of the Parchin agreement are confidential.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Writing by Sam Wilkin; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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