IAEA hails ‘good level of cooperation’ with Iran regarding inspection of two sites
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation with Iran regarding the inspection of two sites sought by the UN nuclear watchdog.
In an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said that the Agency’s inspectors have now taken samples from both locations, which are still undergoing lab analysis.
In late August, Grossi visited Tehran, where he held talks with Iranian officials over safeguards implementation issues.
The two sides then issued a joint statement and said they had agreed “to further reinforce their cooperation and enhance mutual trust to facilitate” the full implementation of Iran’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and the Additional Protocol (AP) thereto, which has been provisionally applied by Iran since 16 January 2016.
To help facilitate the resolution of the issues raised by the Agency, the statement said, Iran agreed to voluntarily provide the IAEA’s inspectors with access to the two locations specified by the nuclear watchdog.
“It was a constructive solution to a problem what we were having,” Grossi said. “And I would say since then we have kept the good level of cooperation in the sense that our inspectors are regularly present and visiting the sites.”
Iran showed the peaceful nature of its nuclear program to the world by signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia China — in 2015. The nuclear deal was also ratified in the form of a UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
The US, however, unilaterally pulled out of the deal and re-imposed unilateral sanctions against Tehran over objections from the other signatories and the entire world community.
Tehran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of Washington’s bans on the Iranian economy.
As the European parties failed to do so, Tehran moved in May 2019 to suspend parts of its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the deal covering Tehran’s legal rights.
Commenting on Tehran’s retaliatory measures, Grossi said that although Iran has been scaling back its commitments, it has continued to allow IAEA inspectors full access to its nuclear facilities, including Natanz.
In the latest IAEA quarterly report, the Agency reported that Iran as of August 25 had stockpiled 2,105.4 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, well above the 202.8 kilograms allowed under the nuclear deal. It was also enriching uranium to a purity of 4.5 percent, beyond the JCPOA limit of 3.76 percent.
“We continue to see the same trend that we have seen so far” in the next IAEA report due in coming weeks, Grossi said.
He, however, stressed the IAEA’s current assessment is that Iran does not at the moment possess a “significant quantity” of uranium.