U.N. nuclear chief arrives in Iran ahead of deadline

Iran's official news agency says the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog has arrived in Tehran ahead of Iran’s plan for suspending part of inspections by the agency to the country’s nuclear facilities

Iran’s parliament in December approved a bill that would suspend part of U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities under a 2015 nuclear deal, if European signatories to the deal do not provide relief from oil and banking sanctions by Feb 23. It will also stop implementation of the additional protocol that allows the IAEA inspectors to carry out more intrusive inspections to Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Following the 2015 deal, Iran voluntarily agreed to implement the additional protocol.

Earlier on Saturday Salehi said he and Grossi will meet on Sunday to discuss the agency’s “concerns” over the halt of the inspections as well as Iran’s cooperation with the agency.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday that the visit has aimed at finding “a mutually agreeable solution for the IAEA to continue essential verification activities in the country.”

The ultimate goal of the deal is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, something Iran insists it does not want to do.