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IAEA, Iran agree temporary deal for inspections with less access

The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog has mentioned the company reached an settlement with Iran to proceed its “necessary” verification and monitoring actions for as much as three months, however there might be less access and no extra snap inspections from Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in Vienna on Sunday following his return from Tehran, the International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi mentioned his talks with Iranian officers 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 mentioned.

“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 go to got here earlier than a February 23 deadline set by Iran’s parliament for new United States President Joe Biden to raise crippling sanctions imposed by his predecessor, Donald Trump, or Tehran would halt snap IAEA inspections.

The IAEA chief was cautious to say that there nonetheless can be the identical variety of inspectors, however there can be “things we lose”.

He didn’t supply many specifics, however Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier mentioned that would come with blocking the IAEA from accessing footage on its cameras at nuclear websites.

Grossi informed reporters the legislation handed by Iran’s parliament can be utilized, nevertheless, which suggests the Additional Protocol that allowed the IAEA to hold out snap inspections can 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 mentioned.

Diplomatic course of

Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna, reporting from Washington, DC, mentioned the announcement would probably “give a greater amount of time for a diplomatic process to get under way” between the US and Iran.

For weeks, the 2 nations have been at an deadlock about efforts to return to the 2015 nuclear deal that noticed Iran agree to curb its nuclear programme in change for a lifting of worldwide sanctions.

Tehran has steadily scaled again its commitments below the accord after Trump’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018.

Biden has mentioned he desires to rejoin the deal, however his administration has insisted Iran return to full compliance first. Iranian officers have demanded the US take step one to rejoin the accord and raise its sanctions.

Earlier on Sunday, Foreign Minister Zarif mentioned Germany, France and the United Kingdom – the European signatories to the settlement, formally referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA – ought to persuade the US to return to the deal.

“That’s not a tall order,” Zarif mentioned throughout an interview with Iran’s state-owned PressTV.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, additionally on Sunday, mentioned Biden is “prepared to go to the table to talk to the Iranians about how we get strict constraints back on their nuclear programme”, however the ball is in Iran’s court docket.

“It is Iran that is isolated now diplomatically, not the United States, and the ball is in their court,” Sullivan mentioned in an interview with CBS programme Face the Nation.

Meanwhile, Ali Vaez, Iran Project director on the International Crisis Group, welcomed the IAEA announcement on Sunday, saying the company “has proven to be the only adult in the room so far”.

“Here is to hoping that Iran & the US learn to be as flexible and creative in achieving their joint objective of reviving the JCPOA,” he tweeted.

Trita Parsi, government vice chairman of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a suppose tank in Washington, DC, said on Twitter the IAEA settlement “enables a crisis to be evaded” because it permits the Iranian legislation to come back into impact with out killing diplomatic efforts.

Parsi urged Iranian and US officers to make “only constructive public statements emphasizing the desire and need for a quick and equitable diplomatic solution” going ahead, nevertheless.

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Updated on March 1, 2021 5:09 am

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