Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Grossi Says Return to Diplomacy is Key to Solve Iranian Nuclear Crisis

IAEA Director General Grossi in Isfahan on May 7, 2024 (EPA)
IAEA Director General Grossi in Isfahan on May 7, 2024 (EPA)
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Grossi Says Return to Diplomacy is Key to Solve Iranian Nuclear Crisis

IAEA Director General Grossi in Isfahan on May 7, 2024 (EPA)
IAEA Director General Grossi in Isfahan on May 7, 2024 (EPA)

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, affirmed on Monday the need to return to diplomacy to resolve the crisis over Iran's nuclear program.
The Iran 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), currently holds no real significance because no one is following it, Grossi told the Russian newspaper Izvestia.
The agreement exists only on paper and means nothing, he said.
The IAEA chief said, “There have been attempts to revive it here in Vienna, but unfortunately, despite coming close to success, they fell through for reasons unknown to me.”
Grossi mentioned that the US and Iran are blaming each other for its failure, adding that the Agency wasn’t directly involved in the diplomatic process.
The UN agency’s chief said he always informs the Iranians of the necessity of ensuring minimum access to Iranian nuclear facilities to help return to the second version of the deal.
He then stressed the importance of avoiding a repeat of the North Korean scenario, where decades of negotiations ultimately proved futile.
Grossi also said Russia plays a very important role in this diplomacy, trying to keep the Iranian program within a predictable and peaceful framework.
When asked whether the UN agency was satisfied with the level of gaining access to Iranian nuclear facilities, he said there are problems.
“We do cooperate with Iran. I don't deny this. This is important for inspection. My Iranian colleagues often say that Iran is the most inspected country in the world. Well, it is, and for good reason. But this is not enough,” he warned.
Grossi added that since signing the agreement in 2015, Iran’s program “has expanded significantly” and that Iranians are capable of producing the latest generation of centrifuges, building new facilities and much more.
The IAEA chief then stressed the need for Iranians to acknowledge the fact that the international community does not completely trust them.
He affirmed that his agency does not pursue an anti-Iranian policy and reiterated the request for Tehran's cooperation.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Russian Passenger Jet Crashes Flying Empty Crashes Near Moscow, Killing its Crew of 3

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 went down in the Moscow region, according to Russian emergency officials. - The AP
The Sukhoi Superjet 100 went down in the Moscow region, according to Russian emergency officials. - The AP
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Russian Passenger Jet Crashes Flying Empty Crashes Near Moscow, Killing its Crew of 3

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 went down in the Moscow region, according to Russian emergency officials. - The AP
The Sukhoi Superjet 100 went down in the Moscow region, according to Russian emergency officials. - The AP

A Russian passenger jet crashed Friday while flying without passengers, killing its crew of three, officials said.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 went down in the Moscow region, according to Russian emergency officials.

The authorities said the plane belonged to Gazprom Avia, a carrier owned by the Russian state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom.

They said the plane took off from an aircraft-making plant at Lukhovitsy 110 kilometers (68 miles) southeast of the Russian capital where it had undergone repairs. It was heading to Moscow's Vnukovo airport when it crashed.

The Investigative Committee, the country's top state criminal investigation agency, has launched a probe into the crash.

A Sukhoi Superjet crashed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport in May 2019, killing 41. It was struck by lightning and made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff. The probe blamed the pilot, concluding that he landed the plane heavy with unburned fuel at excessive speed, resulting in a rough touchdown that sparked a fire.