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Dual scoops on expanding Iran nuclear program

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Berlin chief correspondent David Rising and Dubai-based regional news director Jon Gambrell scored a double scoop on a significant development in Iran’s nuclear program. Rising used his contacts at the International Atomic Energy Agency to land a formal interview with Rafael Grossi, the IAEA director general, then he and Gambrell composed a set of questions that would break new ground on the agency’s monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program. At the top of the list was information on Iranian plans to build a new facility in Natanz.

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Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), attends a news conference in Berlin, Oct. 26, 2020. – AP Photo / Michael Sohn

In the interview, Grossi confirmed officially for the first time that his inspectors on the scene had observed the start of construction on the new facility, but that it was not yet complete. After Rising’s interview broke the initial news Gambrell reached out to satellite firms he has worked with repeatedly. By early the next morning the AP was out first with pictures showing construction at the site, including a time-lapse video used by television clients. The story received wide play, with NBC News and others directly citing the AP for the reporting. Iran even drew comment from Iran.

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