The head of the UN nuclear watchdog urges more access in Iran

The head of the UN Atomic Energy Supervisory Agency is meeting with Iranian officials to urge them to expand their access to Iran

Tehran, Iran – The head of the UN’s nuclear energy monitoring agency met with Iranian officials on Tuesday to urge that more entry into Iran is required on the eve of the resumption of diplomatic negotiations on the tattered nuclear agreement between Tehran and the world powers.

Rafael Mariano Grossi of the International Atomic Energy Agency is again facing tightrope talks with Iranian officials because his inspectors are still unable to access surveillance video and are trying to monitor Tehran’s rapidly growing uranium The inventory is facing greater challenges. After the then President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran agreement, the Islamic Republic of Iran is now enriching a small amount of uranium to a purity of 60%-the highest level in history, close to the 90% weapon-grade level.

Although Iran insists that its plan is peaceful, regional rival Israel has repeatedly warned that it will not allow Tehran to manufacture nuclear weapons and is suspected of launching attacks against its plan. This is a broader regional shadow in the Middle East in recent years. Part of the war. At the same time, the United States under President Joe Biden expressed its willingness to return to the agreement, but warned that time was running out.

All of this has increased the risk of a broader confrontation with Iran. Iran adopted a tougher strategy before the talks under the leadership of the new President Ibrahim Raisi, who is the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali. Disciple of Khamenei.

On Tuesday, Grossi arrived in Tehran and went to the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, the civilian nuclear agency. This was his third such visit since February. He is going to talk to Mohammad Eslami, the new head of the organization. In 2008, the United Nations sanctioned Islami for “participating in, directly participating in, or supporting Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or development of nuclear weapons delivery systems.”

Grossi wrote on Twitter on Monday that he hopes to “solve outstanding issues” with Iranian officials.

Grossi wrote: “I hope to establish a productive channel of cooperation so that (the IAEA) can resume the necessary verification activities in the country.”

According to a confidentiality agreement called an “additional agreement” signed with Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency collects and analyzes images from a series of surveillance cameras installed in Iran’s nuclear facilities. These cameras help it monitor Tehran’s plans to see if it complies with the nuclear agreement.

Iran’s hard-line parliament approved a bill in December 2020 that would suspend part of the UN inspection of its nuclear facilities if European signatories fail to lift oil and banking sanctions by February. Since February, the International Atomic Energy Agency has been unable to obtain images from these cameras.

According to the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency also placed approximately 2,000 tamper-proof seals on nuclear materials and equipment. These seals are communicated to inspectors electronically. Automatic measurement equipment also provides real-time data from the program. Inspectors also have no access to these data, which makes the task of monitoring Iran’s enriched uranium stocks more difficult.

The agency is also seeking to monitor the activities of the centrifuge parts production base near the northern city of Karaj. After Iran stated that Israel’s sabotage attacks severely damaged facilities and IAEA cameras there, the IAEA has been unable to enter there since June.

In a separate report submitted to IAEA member states earlier this month, the agency stated that Grossi was also concerned about inspectors being “excessively intrusively searched by security officials at Iranian nuclear facilities.”

Tuesday’s meeting was held before a broader meeting of IAEA member states. Iran conducted a similar visit to Grossi in September, thus avoiding a condemning vote on the board of directors.

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Gambrell reports from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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