UN nuclear agency reaches deal with Iran on surveillance equipment
Published : Sep 12, 2021 - 20:54
Updated : Sep 12, 2021 - 20:54
A handout picture provided by Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) on Sunday shows head of the AEOI Mohammad Eslami delivering a speech next to Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi (right) following their meeting in Tehran. (AFP-Yonhap)

VIENNA (AFP) -- Iran and the UN nuclear agency said Sunday they have agreed to allow inspectors to service the agency‘s surveillance equipment as Tehran has restricted access since earlier this year.

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

International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi travelled to Iran Saturday for talks, days after the IAEA criticised Tehran for a lack of cooperation.

He met the chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Mohammad Eslami, on Sunday.

“The two sides decided to maintain their mutual interactions and meetings at relevant levels,” the statement said, adding Grossi planned another visit to Tehran “in the near future.”

Grossi’s visit comes after talks between major world powers to save Iran‘s nuclear deal have become deadlocked.

The 2015 deal promised Tehran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

But the landmark agreement was torpedoed in 2018 by then US president Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to withdraw Washington from it and impose a punishing sanctions regime.

Iran has since stepped away from many of its commitments, but the administration of US President Joe Biden has advocated a return to diplomacy to save the agreement.

A point of contention this year has been limits Iran has imposed on the IAEA‘s ability to monitor various of its nuclear facilities.

Iran has refused to provide real-time footage from cameras and other surveillance tools that the UN agency has installed in these locations.