Buying time for negotiations, Iran agrees to IAEA monitoring

The U.S., Germany, France, and the U.K. were gearing up to formally condemn Iran at the IAEA’s Board of Governors meeting scheduled for Monday.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

On the heels of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report slamming Iran for refusing to cooperate with the nuclear watchdog group, Iranian officials have agreed to allow the IAEA to access its monitoring systems at the Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites.

“A meeting between His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Eslami, Vice-President and the Head of Atomic Energy Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran (AEOI) and His Excellency Mr. Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) took place on September 12, during his visit to Tehran,” read a joint statement from Iran and the IAEA.

“In this meeting the parties recalled and reaffirmed the spirit of cooperation and mutual trust and its continuation and emphasized on the necessity of addressing the relevant issues in a constructive atmosphere and exclusively in a technical manner…

“IAEA’s inspectors are permitted to service the identified equipment and replace their storage media which will be kept under the joint IAEA and AEOI seals in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The way and the timing are agreed by the two sides.”

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According to a Wall Street Journal report released Sunday, Grossi successfully negotiated a compromise with Tehran, which grants the agency permission to examine its monitoring technology in exchange for several world powers dropping a resolution censuring Iran for its lack of compliance with the IAEA.

The U.S., Germany, France, and the U.K. were gearing up to formally condemn Iran at the IAEA’s Board of Governors meeting, scheduled for Monday.

Such a move would have put a damper on the negotiations around Iran returning to the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal.

While the talks began in April, they were paused in June. Iran has been stalling for months, refusing to commit to a solid time frame for resuming discussions, and the U.S. and other nations have signaled that their patience is wearing thin.

The report last week released by the IAEA warned that “the lack of progress in clarifying the Agency’s questions concerning the correctness and completeness of Iran’s safeguards declarations seriously affects the ability of the Agency to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”