The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose chief Rafael Grossi is in Tehran, announced that it had reached an agreement with Iran on Sunday over nuclear program monitoring equipment, a few days after denouncing a lack of cooperation.
“IAEA inspectors have the authorization to intervene to maintain the equipment and replace hard drives,” said the UN body in a joint statement with the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization. It will still not have access to the data from the cameras but in February, Tehran pledged to provide them to it in the long term, if the talks to save the 2015 international agreement are successful.
A reprieve from the great powers
Rafael Grossi, who is making his second trip to Iran this year, is thus ensuring continuity in the monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program. The IAEA was in fact worried about losing data in the event of saturation of the recording capacity of the tools. He will return to Tehran “in the near future for high-level consultations,” said the statement, which insisted on “the mutual cooperation and trust of the two parties”.
This visit comes a few days after the delivery of a report by the UN nuclear gendarme accusing Iran of lack of cooperation, and before a meeting from Monday of the Board of Governors of the Agency. Under a law passed in December by its parliament, Iran in February restricted the access of IAEA inspectors to some of its nuclear facilities. A compromise had been negotiated to ensure a certain degree of surveillance but it expired in June.
This new arrangement offers a reprieve to the great powers, which are trying to resuscitate the Vienna agreement, torpedoed in 2018 by the decision of former US President Donald Trump to withdraw from it and restore US sanctions. In response, Iran has freed itself from most of its commitments. Talks were adjourned on June 20, two days after the victory of ultra-conservative Iranian President Ebrahim Raïssi.