IAEA Head Hails Monitoring Agreement With Iran as More Time for Diplomacy
An agreement struck between the United Nations nuclear watchdog and Iran is a “stopgap” measure that will allow more time for diplomacy, according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi traveled to Tehran on Saturday to broker a deal to service the agency’s equipment used to monitor extra areas of Iran’s nuclear program. Tehran has restricted access to the equipment since earlier this year.
“This is not a permanent solution, this cannot be a permanent solution. This has always been seen, for me at least, as a stopgap, as a measure to allow time for diplomacy,” Grossi told reporters in Vienna on Sunday after his Iran visit. He added: “We managed to rectify the most urgent issue: The imminent loss of knowledge we were confronted with until yesterday. Now we have a solution.”
The IAEA’s Board of Governors is slated to meet this week. It had threatened to propose a resolution condemning Iran with hiding information from the IAEA, which could have created more trouble in reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers. Several months of direct and indirect talks to revive the deal broke off in June to allow Raisi to take power. They have not yet been restarted.
The servicing of the monitoring equipment, including making sure that the memory cards are not full, is set to begin again in several days.