Chief of UN nuclear watchdog Amano passes away -- IAEA

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-22 21:10:03|Editor: Yurou
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Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), speaks to journalists during a press encounter after the UN Security Council meeting on supporting the Non-proliferation Treaty ahead of the 2020 Review Conference, at the UN headquarters in New York, on April 2, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

VIENNA, July 22 (Xinhua) -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday that its Director General Yukiya Amano has passed away.

"The Secretariat of the International Atomic Energy Agency regrets to inform with deepest sadness of the passing away of Director General Yukiya Amano," said the United Nations (UN) nuclear watchdog in a statement.

The 72-year-old Japanese has been the agency's chief since 2009. During his three tenures, the IAEA verified and monitored Iran's implementation of the 2015 nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which the United States quit unilaterally last year.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi (front R), The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano (front C) and Secretary General of the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid (front L) attend a meeting to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal for the first time after U.S. pullout from the accord, in Vienna, Austria, May 25, 2018. (Xinhua/Liu Xiang)

"During the past decade, the Agency delivered concrete results to achieve the objective of 'Atoms for Peace and Development,'" Amano was quoted by the agency's statement as saying.

The IAEA did not specify the time and cause of Amano's death, noting that he had previously sent a resignation letter to the agency.

Diplomatic sources told Xinhua on Wednesday that Amano had planned to step down in March 2020 for health reasons. His latest mandate was due to run until 2021.