UN nuclear agency reaches accord with Iran on monitoring

Vienna, Mar 4 (EFE).- Iran has agreed with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to reactivate cameras and other monitoring equipment at its nuclear sites, the parties said Saturday in a joint statement.

The accord emerged from a meeting in Tehran between IAEA chief Rafael Grossi and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

“Over the past few months, there was a reduction in some of the monitoring activities,” Grossi told a press conference in Vienna on his return from Iran. “We have agreed that those will be operating again.”

He said that the Iranians will re-install surveillance cameras and other monitoring gear that had accepted as part of the 2015 nuclear pact with the P5+1: the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States – plus Germany, together with the European Union.

Iran removed the equipment last year, four years after then-President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), under which Tehran agreed to limits on its nuclear power program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

“We have put a tourniquet on the bleeding of information and lack of continuity of knowledge we had – now we can start working again. These are not words, this is very concrete,” Grossi said in Vienna, where the IAEA is based.

“This is very, very important,” the Argentine diplomat said, “in particular in the context of the possibility of the revival of JCPOA.”

The US withdrawal from the deal and Washington’s imposition of secondary sanctions to discourage other countries from trading with Iran effectively killed the JCPOA, though Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has indicated willingness to return to the pact.

“Iran, on a voluntary basis, will allow the IAEA to implement further appropriate verification and monitoring activities. Modalities will be agreed between the two sides in the course of a technical meeting which will take place soon in Tehran,” according to the joint statement.

Grossi said that the agreement will allow an increase in access of IAEA inspectors to the uranium-enrichment plant at Fordow.

The IAEA says it has detected uranium enriched to 84 percent, close to the level needed for a nuclear weapon, at Fordow, but the Iranians insist that a small number of 84-percent particles are a natural byproduct of enrichment to 60 percent. EFE as/dr

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