IAEA Officials to Visit Iran Amid Tensions
Massimo Aparo, deputy head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, will travel to Iran this week for “routine safeguard activities,” Iran’s envoy to the United Nations announced Saturday, insisting no talks were planned for the UN’s nuclear watchdog’s inspection chief while in Tehran. Last week, the interim agreement between Iran and the IAEA that temporarily extended monitoring of the country’s nuclear facilities expired, with the Islamic Republic refusing to address the IAEA’s demands for another extension. Also on Saturday, the Bushehr nuclear power plant resumed operations after being shut down for two weeks for what government officials claimed was a much-needed overhaul and repairs. Extreme temperatures and a dry summer have led to heightened demand for electricity, with the nation battling repeated power outages. Iran and the United States are currently holding indirect negotiations in Vienna over a mutual return to the 2015 nuclear deal.