“We are face to face, access to Iran’s nuclear facilities will be reduced, but the situation is saved for the moment.” This is the conclusion of the visit of the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi to Iran. The temporary agreement reached with Tehran would make it possible to maintain surveillance of Iranian nuclear activities until diplomatic talks begin between the signatories of the 2015 pact. Iran is notably awaiting the lifting of the economic sanctions put in place under Donald Trump.
“First, we reconfirmed that Iran will continue to implement the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement without any limitations, as it has done so far. Second, we agreed that in view of Iran’s new law and in particular in view of the provision that establishes limitations, we have entered into a temporary bilateral technical agreement under which the agency will continue its necessary verification and monitoring activities for a period of up to three months “ Rafael Grossi said.
Iran says the deal only gives inspectors 70% of the access they currently have. But the IAEA maintains that unannounced checks remain possible and that the number of the agency’s inspectors will remain unchanged in the country.
It is now up to diplomats to find a political solution. They have three months to overhaul the 2015 Vienna Accord. Agreement which provides for a gradual lifting of international sanctions in exchange for the guarantee that Iran will not acquire atomic weapons. Even if the Islamic Republic has always denied having such intentions. An informal meeting under the aegis of the European Union is envisaged.
Iran has not withdrawn from the Vienna Agreement, unlike the United States, but since 2019 Tehran has reduced its commitments on sensitive points such as uranium enrichment levels to 20% and the use of sophisticated centrifuges prohibited by agreement.
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