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IAEA Head Says ‘New Realities’ Require Changes in Iran Nuclear Deal
Rafael Mariano Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, March 9, 2020. (Dean Calma/IAEA via Wikimedia Commons)

IAEA Head Says ‘New Realities’ Require Changes in Iran Nuclear Deal

The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday that advances made by Iran since the collapse of the 2015 nuclear deal mean there will have to be changes to the original agreement. “The reality is that we are dealing with a very different Iran,” International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Mariano Grossi said in an interview with the Associated Press. “2022 is so different from 2015 that there will have to be adjustments that take into consideration these new realities so our inspectors can inspect whatever the countries agree at the political table.”

Iran is now enriching uranium to 60% purity – a short technical step from weapons-grade levels of 90%, and stockpiling enriched uranium well beyond the limits specified in the 2015 deal. The original agreement permitted enrichment to 3.67%, as required for energy production. 

Grossi also warned that, given the restrictions and limitations that Tehran had put on IAEA inspectors, the world was getting only a “very blurred image” of the Iranian nuclear program. Iran has prevented representatives of the international agency from accessing a centrifuge assembly plant at Karaj. A June attack on that plant, which Iran blames on Israel, damaged cameras used by the inspectors. Iranian officials say the attackers used the cameras to help carry out the attack, a charge that Gross calls “simply absurd.”

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