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Nuclear surveillance deal with Iran keeps hopes for talks alive


TEHRAN: Iran and the United Nations atomic agency announced on Sunday the IAEA It will keep an eye on Tehran’s nuclear activities, defusing a sore point in talks to resuscitate a 2015 deal to curb its program.
With negotiations in Vienna between Iran and world powers stalled, the steps were resolved with International Atomic Energy Agency boss Rafael Grossi A visit to Tehran leaves a ray of hope for US President Joe Biden’s ambition to restore the agreement, known as the JCPOA.
Since the Donald Trump administration withdrew in 2018, Iran has also withdrawn from many of its commitments.
In a joint statement on Sunday, Grossi and the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), Mohammad Eslami, also one of the country’s vice presidents, praised a “spirit of cooperation and mutual trust,” while noting that surveillance was a topic to be discussed. “exclusively in a technical way”.
Eslami welcomed “good and constructive negotiations with Mr. Grossi, “while again insisting on the” technical “nature of the deal, the Iranian official IRNA the news agency reported.
Their agreement relates to the limits Iran has imposed on the IAEA’s ability to monitor several of its nuclear facilities.
Iran has refused to provide real-time footage from cameras and other surveillance tools that the UN agency has installed in these locations.
Under a compromise agreement, the monitoring team remains in the agency’s custody, but the data is in Iran’s possession and should not be erased as long as the agreement remains in effect.
Initially agreed for three months, the commitment was extended for another month and then expired on June 24.
With no word on next steps, the IAEA said in a statement last Tuesday that its “verification and monitoring activities have been seriously undermined” by Tehran’s actions.
But under Sunday’s deal, “IAEA inspectors can repair the identified equipment and replace its storage media which will be kept under the joint IAEA and AEOI (Iran) seals in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said. the joint statement.
“The two parties agree on the form and the moment.”
The issue of surveillance had increased tensions by the time the new government of Iran’s ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi took office in Tehran.
Iran has also increased its enriched uranium reserves above the levels allowed in the 2015 agreement, the IAEA said.
A meeting of the UN agency’s board of governors is scheduled for Monday.
“We have decided to be present at the next meeting and continue our talks on the sidelines,” Iran’s Eslami told IRNA.
Raisi argued in a statement Wednesday that his country was “transparent” about its nuclear activities, which Iran has always insisted are peaceful.
“Naturally, in the case of a non-constructive approach by the IAEA, it is not reasonable to expect Iran to respond constructively,” he said.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned last Wednesday that, faced with the impasse, the United States was “close” to abandoning its diplomatic efforts.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday he charged that the IAEA report “proves that Iran continues to lie to the world and is advancing a program to develop nuclear weapons, while denying its international commitments.”

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