Nuclear: Iran gives pledges to IAEA inspectors
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chief Mohammad Eslami, right, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi in Tehran on Saturday< /p>
The Director General of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) hailed Saturday, after a visit to Tehran, “a step in the right direction”, Iran having agreed to reconnect the cameras surveillance at several nuclear sites and to increase the pace of inspections.
We have reached an agreement to have the cameras and surveillance systems working again, said the IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, in front of journalists at Vienna airport.
In addition, the number of visits to the Fordo underground factory , where uranium particles have recently been detected enriched to a level close to the threshold of the atomic bomb, will be raised by 50%.
Back in Austria, where the Agency is based, after two days of meetings in Iran and in particular an interview with President Ebrahim Raïssi, Mr. Grossi insisted on the importance of these very concrete advances.
Because the Islamic Republic had severely limited inspections and disconnected surveillance cameras last year, plunging the IAEA into limbo, in a context of deteriorating relations between Iran and Western powers.
We have stopped the bleeding of information available to the IAEA, said Grossi. In recent months, due to lack of sufficient monitoring, the Agency had said that it was no longer able to guarantee the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program.
This is very, very important, especially in view of reviving the 2015 agreement that limited Iran's atomic activities in exchange for lifting international sanctions.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi is greeted by Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), upon his arrival in Tehran.
Negotiations between Tehran and the state parties (China, Russia, UK, France and Germany), with indirect US participation, have stalled since August 2022.
This pact, known by the acronym of JCPOA, has been moribund since the withdrawal of the United States decided in 2018 by President Donald Trump, and Iran has gradually freed itself from its commitments.
In Tehran, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (AEIO), Mohammad Eslami, had called on the protagonists of the discussions to also make a gesture.
The three European countries and other countries only focus on Iran's obligations under the JCPOA. They also have obligations they must meet, he said.
Iran will never sacrifice its national interests, Eslami stressed, while President Raisi also urged Grossi to uphold the rights of the Iranian nation.
“We hope that the IAEA will take a completely professional approach (to the Iranian nuclear file) and that the political powers […] x27;will not affect the activities of the Agency. »
— Ebrahim Raissi
The head of the UN agency must now present the results of his visit at an IAEA Board of Governors scheduled for next week in Vienna. Despite progress, today's announcement is not enough to reduce Iran's growing proliferation risk, proliferation expert Kelsey Davenport said. x27;Arms Control Association.
The United States and the Europeans should seek to capitalize on this momentum by building diplomatic momentum that would re-engage Iran in negotiations, she said in reference to a possible resolution in response to Fordo's discovery.
A satellite photo taken by Maxar Technologies on December 11, 2020 shows Iran's Fordo nuclear facility.
Iran, which denies wanting to acquire nuclear weapons, justified itself by citing involuntary fluctuations during the enrichment process and by assuring that it had not done so. attempt to enrich beyond 60%, as Mr. Eslami repeated on Saturday.
France nevertheless judged on Thursday that it is was an unprecedented and extremely serious development.
Rafael Grossi did not want to be alarmist on this point on Saturday.
We detected a certain level and then we asked for clarification. But by continuously observing the facility, we found that there was no production or accumulation of uranium at this level, he said.
Regarding the discovery last year of traces of enriched uranium at three undeclared sites, Iran had been the subject of ;a call to order at the last IAEA meeting, in November 2022, for its lack of cooperation.