Thursday, February 25, 2021

Reduced powers of the IAEA in controlling Iran’s nuclear activities


Director General Rafael Grossi during a visit to Tehran. Photo: Reuters

The IAEA Director General visited Tehran on Sunday Rafael Grossi and met with the head of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, and also met with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamed Javad Zarif. After the meetings, he tweeted that they had “fruitful conversations”.

The IAEA has now confirmed that it has agreed with Iran to reduce access to control Iran’s nuclear activities for three months.

Iranian lawmakers have passed legislation that takes effect on Tuesday, requiring the Iranian government to ban IAEA experts from unannounced inspections of “reported and unreported nuclear sites,” the BBC reports.

Unfortunately, the additional protocol will be suspended. Admittedly, there is less access. Nevertheless, we have maintained the necessary level of control and verification,“said Director General Grossi, adding that the number of inspectors in Iran remains the same, Al Jazeera reports. The so-called additional protocol allowed the IAEA unannounced inspections at nuclear facilities that Iran has not officially disclosed.

Grossi did not provide details of other restrictions on access, but Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif had previously said that this would include preventing the IAEA from accessing camera footage at nuclear sites.

Unannounced inspections are part of a nuclear deal

As part of Iran’s nuclear agreement in 2015, Iran agreed to unannounced inspections, which it had previously stopped in 2006. Unannounced inspections are a voluntary choice of the country where the IAEA exercises control and are part of the International Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). agreement drawn up in the late 1960s. Iran joined the agreement in 1970.

An agreement on a new way of conducting inspections was concluded by Iran and the IAEA just before February 23, which was set by the Iranian parliament by the deadline by which the new US president must Joe Biden withdraw the sanctions imposed by the administration Donald Trump – otherwise they will ban unannounced visits to nuclear installations.

Three months for a US-Iran deal?

Iran rejects the new conditions for a nuclear deal announced by Biden

The ban on unannounced visits was concluded for three months, which, according to the BBC, means that Washington and Tehran now have a little more time to find compromises.

Former President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iranian nuclear deal and imposed harsh sanctions on Iranian oil, banking and finance as part of a “maximum pressure” tactic. The Bidn administration has indicated that Iran must first return to complying with the agreement before the United States can return and lift sanctions. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei however, it communicates that the US must take the first step.

Iran has begun production of up to 20 percent enriched uranium since the U.S. withdrew from the agreement, well above the limits of the agreement, but still well below the 90 percent needed to make a nuclear bomb.





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