Iran’s nuclear program: an agreement between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency after “constructive” talks
The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran have reached an agreement allowing IAEA inspectors to conduct further inspections of Tehran’s nuclear programme.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had agreed to reconnect surveillance cameras at several nuclear sites and to increase the pace of inspections.
The agreement came at the end of the two-day visit of the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, to the Iranian capital, Tehran, during which he met with a number of Iranian officials, led by Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, and the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Muhammad Islami.
Raisi said during his meeting with Grossi that Tehran hopes that the IAEA will deal with professionalism and impartiality, and that it will be transparent with regard to Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities, and that it will not be “subject to influence from Western powers” that have special political goals.
Raisi said that the United States and Israel “are exploiting Iran’s nuclear file as a pretext to put pressure on the Iranian people.”
Grossi’s visit to Tehran came in the wake of the announcement of finding enriched uranium particles at a level close to the ratio needed to produce a nuclear bomb.
After his return to Vienna, Grossi noted that there had been “a decrease in surveillance activities related to cameras and surveillance systems,” but added, “We agreed that they will work again,” and stressed that “these are not just words, it is very tangible.”
“This is very, very important,” he said, “especially in the context of the possibility of reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” between the IAEA and Iran.
Grossi had announced earlier in the day that he had held “constructive discussions” with officials in Tehran.
Grossi said during a press conference held in Tehran with the head of the Iranian Atomic Agency, Mohammad Islami, that his meeting with Islami was “very important,” stressing that “the dialogue with Iran is serious and the atmosphere is positive.”
He added that Iran “must be clear and transparent about its nuclear program,” noting that “the IAEA will continue to cooperate with Iran, and there is a serious dialogue with it, and that is why I am here.”
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency is seeking greater cooperation with Iran over its nuclear activities.
The negotiations aimed at reviving the agreement on the Iranian nuclear file, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was signed in 2015, had reached a dead end.
The Iran nuclear deal, aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, saw Tehran commit to limiting the activity of its nuclear program and allowing international inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor its activities in exchange for relief from economic sanctions imposed on Tehran.
The agreement almost collapsed after former US President Donald Trump announced the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from it, and the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran in 2018. On the other hand, Iran responded by announcing its non-compliance with the restrictions imposed on it by the historic agreement.
The Joe Biden administration has expressed its desire to return to the nuclear deal, if Iran returns to abide by its terms, but the direct talks that started from Vienna stopped for a year.