Saturday, February 27, 2021

IAEA obtains temporary agreement from Iran to continue monitoring nuclear sites


Iran and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) announced yesterday Sunday the conclusion of a “temporary” agreement to maintain the surveillance of nuclear activities, although reduced, while diplomatic talks begin. between the signatories of the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement, in an attempt to break the deadlock.

On his return to Vienna after “intense consultations” in Tehran, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi maintained that the bilateral agreement reached yesterday makes it possible to save the situation by maintaining the necessary degree of surveillance and verification “despite the entry into force tomorrow, February 23, of Iranian law which provides for limiting certain inspections, including on suspicious military sites, if international sanctions are not lifted.

Yesterday’s deal between Iran and the IAEA runs for three months, but it is likely to be suspended at any time. According to its terms, the number of on-site inspectors remains unchanged and unannounced checks will remain possible.

But Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi said “inspections will be reduced by around 20-30% after the law is implemented,” insisting, however, that “this certainly does not mean a withdrawal (of Iran) of the agreement ”of 2015.

The unilateral American withdrawal from the Vienna agreement, which provides for a gradual lifting of sanctions in exchange for Iran’s guarantee not to acquire atomic weapons, and the reinstatement of the sanctions which are strangling the Iranian economy have led Tehran to free itself, from 2019, from several limits that it had agreed to impose on its nuclear program.

The coming to power of US President Joe Biden who has declared his country ready to return to the agreement has brought a glimmer of hope to unblock the crisis, but the United States and Iran are turning their backs. ball on the question of who should take the first step.



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