VIENNA Dec 16 The head of the atomic energy
watchdog agency of the United Nations will travel to Iran on
Sunday for meetings about the country's implementation of its
nuclear agreement with major powers, the International Atomic
Energy Agency said on Friday.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano expressed "concerns" to
Iran last month over its repeated testing of a limit under that
agreement on its stock of heavy water, a substance used as a
moderator in some nuclear reactors.
Iran has since shipped its excess heavy water out of the
country, but diplomats say it has yet to be delivered to a
buyer. The United States and its allies say Tehran must do so to
comply with the agreement.
"The visit is part of regular high-level contacts between
the agency and Iran," the IAEA, which is policing the
restrictions the agreement places on Iran's nuclear activities,
said in a statement.
"In Tehran, the Director General will discuss Iran's
implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)," it said, using the
official name of the deal, which also lifted international
sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The row over heavy water raises questions about how U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump will handle any such incidents
after he takes office next month. He has said he would "police
that contract so tough they (the Iranians) don't have a chance".
The visit also comes as Iran is complaining increasingly
loudly that the United States has not held up its side of the
bargain, a charge Washington denies.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani ordered his country's
scientists on Tuesday to start developing systems for
nuclear-powered marine vessels. He was responding to a decision
by U.S. Congress to extend some sanctions against Tehran that
would also make it easier to re-impose others.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy, editing by Larry King)