Tehran, SAEDNEWS, Feb. 22: The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog has said the agency reached an agreement with Iran to continue its “necessary” verification and monitoring activities for up to three months, but there will be less access and no more snap inspections from Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters in Vienna on Sunday following his return from Tehran, the International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said his talks with Iranian officials had produced a “good, reasonable result” that “salvages the situation for now”.
“We reached a temporary bilateral technical understanding whereby the agency is going to continue its necessary verification and monitoring activities for a period of up to three months,” Grossi said.
“We agreed that we are going to keep this understanding we reached under review constantly – so if we want to suspend it or extend it, this can be done,” he added.
“The hope of the IAEA has been to be able to stabilise a situation which was very unstable and I think this technical understanding does it, so that other political consultations at other levels can take place.”
Grossi’s visit came before a February 23 deadline set by Iran’s parliament for new United States President Joe Biden to lift crippling sanctions imposed by his predecessor, Donald Trump, or Tehran would halt snap IAEA inspections.
The IAEA chief was careful to say that there still would be the same number of inspectors, but there would be “things we lose”.
He did not offer many specifics, but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier said that would include blocking the IAEA from accessing footage on its cameras at nuclear sites.
Grossi told reporters the law passed by Iran’s parliament would be applied, however, which means the Additional Protocol that allowed the IAEA to carry out snap inspections would be suspended.
“Nevertheless, we decided to go there and agree on a specific, bilateral arrangement… that will allow us to bridge this period in the best possible way without losing the necessary monitoring and verification capacities,” he said (Source: AlJazeera).