The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Gracie, has said they have reached a three-month tentative agreement with Tehran to continue monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities. However, the scope of the observation activities, which will start from Tuesday, will be limited and there will be no chance of any kind of surprise inspection.
The IAEA chief arrived in Vienna on Sunday after a visit to Tehran.
Referring to the “beautiful, logical outcome” of talks with Iranian officials, Rafael Gracie said the situation had been resolved.
“We have temporarily reached a bilateral strategic agreement where the agency will be able to continue the necessary verification and monitoring activities for three months,” Gracie said.
“We agree that this agreement will be reviewed on a regular basis – so that we can do it if we want to suspend or extend it,” he added.
Rafael Gracie said: ‘The IAEA expects to stabilize a volatile situation and I think the strategic agreement will be able to do that. Through which different levels of political talks can be successful.
The IAEA chief’s visit comes ahead of a February 23 deadline set by the Iranian parliament for US President Joe Biden to lift sanctions on his predecessor, Donald Trump. Tehran has announced it will suspend IAEA raids on Iran unless sanctions are lifted.
The IAEA chief said the number of inspectors would remain the same but cautiously said they could miss some opportunities.
Without elaborating, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said earlier that the IAEA would not have the opportunity to collect camera footage of the nuclear plant.
Gracie told reporters that the law passed by Iran’s parliament would be enforced, which would suspend the chance of a surprise visit by the IAEA.
“In any case, we have decided to go there and agree on a specific bilateral agreement … It has enabled us to connect with this time in the best possible way without losing the power of necessary observation and verification,” he said.
Mike Hanna, an Al Jazeera correspondent from Washington DC, said the announcement would create a huge opportunity for the United States and Iran to launch a diplomatic process.
For the past few weeks, there has been a stalemate between the two countries in the process of trying to launch the 2015 nuclear deal. Under the agreement, the country agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions on Iran.
After former US President Donald Trump removed the United States from the nuclear deal in 2016 and imposed a strict embargo, Iran gradually withdrew from the terms of the deal.
President Biden says he wants to return to the agreement, but that Iran must return to the terms of the agreement first. On the other hand, Iranian officials are demanding that the United States lift all sanctions and sanctions on the country first.
In an interview with Iranian state television on Sunday, Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif said European partners in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – Germany, France and Britain – should persuade the United States to return to the agreement.
“It’s not a long-term demand,” he said in an interview.
On Sunday, White House Security Adviser Jack Sullivan said Biden was preparing to discuss with Iran the limits of its nuclear program.
But he said Iran had the opportunity, saying “it is Iran that has isolated itself diplomatically, not the United States.”
Meanwhile, Ali Vayez, director of the International Crisis Group’s Iran project, welcomed the IAEA’s announcement, saying the agency had “proven they are the only adult in the room.”
“Hopefully, Iran and the United States will learn to be tolerant and creative in achieving the JCPOA revival goal,” he tweeted.
Source: Al Jazeera
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