IAEA and Iran reach settlement to avert nuclear deal disaster

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Tehran, Iran – The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog and Iran’s nuclear chief have reached an settlement that may forestall one other disaster looming over the prospect of restoring Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal.

Rafael Grossi, director normal of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), landed in Tehran late on Saturday and met Mohammad Eslami, the newly appointed head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, on Sunday morning.

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It was Grossi’s first journey to Tehran throughout the brand new administration of President Ebrahim Raisi, who appointed Eslami as the brand new nuclear chief on August 29.

Both sides known as the assembly “constructive” and agreed they’ll proceed discussions on the sidelines of the company’s normal convention in Vienna later this month.

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They additionally agreed that Grossi would travel to Tehran once more quickly to switch the company’s monitoring cameras’ reminiscence playing cards, which can nonetheless be saved in Iran in keeping with a legislation handed by the hardline Iranian parliament in December.

Iran has since February mentioned it can solely hand over the tapes to the company after an settlement is reached in Vienna that may elevate unilateral United States sanctions.

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“What matters to us, and the agency also emphasises upon, is to build trust,” Eslami mentioned following the assembly.

High enrichment

The assembly got here days after two new confidential IAEA stories had been shared with the media, exhibiting the company’s concern over Iran’s nuclear programme.

The stories mentioned Iran has didn’t adequately cooperate on the company’s recording tools, a few of which can have been destroyed after an incident, whereas it’s resuming excessive enrichment of uranium, and has not supplied a full rationalization on nuclear supplies at a number of places.

Iran had doubled down after the stories, calling on the company to keep up its independence and chorus from political strikes.

Censure prevented

Grossi is slated to right away return to Vienna, the place he’s anticipated to carry a information convention in a while Sunday.

The last-minute assembly on Sunday was reportedly facilitated by Russia, which has not been in favour of a decision towards Iran on the subsequent convention of the IAEA board of governors on Monday because it may derail nuclear deal talks.

President Raisi earlier this month warned {that a} censure towards Iran on the convention hosted by the Austrian capital may negatively have an effect on a return to the negotiation desk, which Iran has not returned to since July 20 when the sixth spherical of talks concluded.

An analogous short-term technical settlement between Iran and the IAEA over monitoring in late February had additionally averted a censure situation, led by the US with help from Europe, on the company’s earlier convention.

Raisi, who took workplace in early August, has mentioned he needs to proceed the Vienna talks, however won’t interact in negotiations for the sake of negotiations.

Avoiding a decision towards Iran would anger opponents of the nuclear deal, particularly Israel, which has been lobbying towards the deal’s restoration. Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday known as for the imposition of extra sanctions on Iran to prod it in direction of an settlement.

The nuclear deal, formally referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed in 2015 by Iran, the US, France, the United Kingdom, China, and Russia. But the US unilaterally deserted it in 2018, imposing harsh sanctions.

In response to the sanctions, assaults on its nuclear services, and the assassination of a prime nuclear scientist, Iran steadily boosted its nuclear programme, and is now enriching uranium to 60 p.c, its highest-ever degree.

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