UN nuclear chief says restrictions on access to Iranian facilities threaten work of monitoring program

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The head of the UN nuclear watchdog says his surveillance program in Iran has been limited at a key facility, raising concerns that it may not be possible for world powers party to a nuclear deal of 2015 to “rebuild the image” of Iran’s nuclear program. down the road.

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, made the comments in an interview with NBC News broadcast on October 23. Grossi is currently visiting Washington as countries parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) urge Iran to resume negotiations to restore the deal.

Earlier this year, after Iran stopped allowing IAEA inspectors to perform instant inspections required under the deal, Grossi negotiated a deal in which Iran would allow cameras from the IAEA inside nuclear facilities to continue to operate.

Grossi said Iran had allowed the IAEA access to most of its cameras, except those at a facility in suburban Tehran that manufactures centrifuge parts.

The facility was damaged in June in what Iran says was an act of sabotage by Israel and, Grossi said, Iran cited an ongoing investigation into the attack as denying IAEA access to the site.

Without this access, the IAEA’s monitoring and verification program in Iran is “no longer intact,” Grossi said.

“It hasn’t crippled what we’re doing there, but damage … has been done, with the potential of not being able to piece together the picture, the puzzle,” Grossi told NBC News in the ‘interview.

“If and when the JCPOA is restarted, I know that in order for the JCPOA partners to come to an agreement, they will need to know where they are stepping up,” Grossi said.

Iran has asked the IAEA to clarify its position regarding an alleged Israeli attack on the centrifuge component workshop.

Speaking to reporters on October 3, the head of the Iranian atomic energy organization, Mohammad Eslami, lamented that the IAEA and the Western powers did not condemn the “terrorist act” in which the TESA Karaj’s facility has been “severely destroyed”.

The JCPOA has imposed significant restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the pact in 2018 and began reimposing crippling sanctions on Iran. In response, Tehran gradually reversed its own commitments in the deal.

The Biden administration and European partners want to restore the deal, and Iranian officials have repeatedly said they are ready to resume talks, but no date has yet been announced.

Indirect negotiations on both sides reverting to respect for the deal, through intermediaries from other parties to the deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – were launched in Vienna in April, but talks have were suspended after the June elections. hard-core Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

With reporting from NBC


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